DRY SPELL ENDS

Rains return slowly, downpours on the way

The rains are the beginning of a rather wet month with floods, landslides on saturated ground.

In Summary

•Central Kenya, which has been dry since last week, will from Saturdayhave showers in a few places in the afternoon and at night. 

•Western Kenya will be battered by afternoon and night rains throughout the week. 

Bamburi residents in heavy rains.
WET MONTH: Bamburi residents in heavy rains.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

Rains will return this week and most places will have afternoon showers, turning into heavy rain as the month progresses.

Floods and landslides can be expected where the ground is already saturated.

But the forecast is good news for farmers who planted their crops last month.

Met director Stella Aura said Western Kenya will be the wettest, battered by afternoon and night rains throughout the week. 

The rains are the beginning of a wet month, as promised by Met last week.

Central Kenya, which has been dry since last week, will from Saturday have showers in a few places in the afternoon and at night. 

The Coastal strip (Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale) will have rains in the morning and afternoon this week, but evenings will be dry, Aura said. 

"Rainfall is expected to continue over the Highlands West and East of  Rift Valley, Coast and Northeastern parts of the country," she said in a five-day forecast through Monday next week.

Northeastern Kenya Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo) will have scattered rains throughout the week and strong winds. 

Strong southeasterly winds of more than 25 knots (12.5 metres per second) are expected over Turkana and parts of Marsabit county.

Last week, the Met department had warned of dry spells this week and next, but stronger winds and torrential rains are expected as the month progresses.

The department warned the rains could be stronger than in October

"This coupled with the already saturated grounds is likely to continue causing floods and landslides in affected parts of the country," Aura said.

Most stations received record rains last month. For instance, Mombasa, Msabaha, Embu and Moyale recorded 470 per cent, 468 per cent, 248 per cent and 357 per cent of their long-term mean rain, respectively.

The projected heavy rain in November is triggered by an unusual warming of the sea on the East African coast, a phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole.

"A strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole, that is currently +2.06 degrees, is quite favourable for enhanced rainfall in the country," Aura said.

(Edited by V. Graham)