14 February 2018

Kenya: Weatherman Warns of Floods From Next Month

Photo: Raphael Mwadime
(file photo).

Some parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania will be hit by floods between March and May, meteorological experts have said.

According to Kenya Meteorological Department director Peter Ambenje, Coast, Nairobi, Eastern and North Eastern will be the hardest hit in Kenya.

"Despite the fact that at the end of the season whatever amounts you have might not be sufficient, one small rainfall event in one day will give rise to floods in those areas in Kenya," he said.

He was speaking during the 48th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum for March to May at Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa.

The outlook included input from scientists and various global climate centres including World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Global Producing Centres and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

Mr Ambenje noted that the outlook shows an increased likelihood of normal to above normal rainfall in parts of the region.

He assured Greater Horn of Africa countries including Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda that WMO will provide El-Nino status

"In areas of enhanced rainfall, there will be a chance of flooding. These are South Sudan, Western Ethiopia, South Western Uganda, North Eastern Rwanda and Southern Tanzania. In Kenya we are not safe," Mr Ambenje said.

The director said an increased likelihood of normal to below normal rainfall will be experienced in Somalia, South-eastern Ethiopia and Eastern Kenya.

"The consensus means temperature outlook for the season indicates an increased likelihood of warmer to normal temperatures over much of the eastern parts, normal to cooler than normal temperatures over central parts and cooler to normal temperatures in the western areas of the region," he added.

Mr Ambenje said an episodic heavy rainfall event leading to flash floods might occur in areas with an increased likelihood of near to below normal rainfall.

Dry spells may also occur in areas with increased likelihood of above normal to normal rainfall.

"However, parts of the region that have been having drought conditions and persistence of depressed rainfall would have a far-reaching implication," the director said.

He noted that IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre will provide regional updates on a regular basis while the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services is to downscale the forecast to country level.

Mr Ambenje, who is also the permanent representative of WMO in Kenya, said the prediction will help the countries in developing a regional consensus climate outlook to avert any calamities.

"We reviewed the state of the global and regional climate systems and their implications on the March to May seasonal rainfall. Among the principal factors taken into account were the observed

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