•The rains might fall late next week but most probably will begin in the first week of April.
• More cyclones in the Mozambican channel could disrupt rains in Kenya and condemn it to lengthy dry spell.
The long rains may be delayed until early next month, the Meteorological Department warned yesterday.
The weatherman blamed a tropical cyclone that caused in havoc in Mozambique last week, for sucking in moisture that would resulted in rains for Kenya.
Acting head Stella Aura said Kenyans will see some rain-forming clouds from next week.
The rains might come late next week but most probably in the first week of April, she told the press at KMD offices.
“The cyclone significantly reduced moisture influx into the country and this led to the continued sunny and dry weather conditions.”
She warned that more cyclones developing in the Mozambican channel could disrupt the rains in Kenya and condemn it to a further dry spell.
The department revised the rainfall outlook for the March-May long rains. Early this month, it was predicted that Kenya would receive slightly enhanced rainfall, except in parts of Eastern and the Coast.
The rains were forecast to begin this week, but, yesterday, the department said this had changed.
“The spatial and temporal distribution of the March-May 2019 seasonal rainfall was expected to be good over most of the Western sector ... However, the existence of tropical cyclones is likely to result in poor distribution even over the Western sector of the country,” Aura said.
She warned of likely flooding in places such as Budalang’i and landslides in Murang’a. “The national disaster operations centre is, therefore, advised to be on standby to ensure mitigation of any negative impacts.”
Deputy director Samuel Mwangi said the northern counties now ravaged by drought will be the last to get rains.
"Due to the cyclone, the rainfall belt is coming from the south, slowly going up,” he said.
Acting deputy director Bernard Chanzu said this year mirrors 1988 when there were high amounts of rain and poor distribution.
“It is high time, as a country, we started looking at other ways to do farming. We have to invest in water harvesting and irrigation,” he said.
Millions of people in at least 12 counties are currently surviving on food handouts from NGOs and other well-wishers. Last week, about 20 people were reported to have died of hunger-related complications.