- Dr Gikungu is next week expected to give the June-August forecast.
- However, last week, the IGAD’S Climate Prediction and Applications Centre released a regional forecast showing that Kenya and other parts of the Greater Horn of Africa region will most likely be drier than usual these three months.
Many parts of the country will remain dry next week, according to a forecast from the Meteorological department.
This could mark the end of the long rains season in most parts of the country.
The rains were expected to end this month, giving way to the cool and largely dry June-August weather.
“Rainfall is expected to continue over some parts of the Highlands East and West of the Rift Valley, the Lake Victoria Basin, the Rift Valley and the Coast. The rest of the country is likely to be generally dry,” said Met director Dr David Gikungu.
In the three-month forecast given in March, only this region and the Coast were expected to have rains in June.
The rest of the country was expected to go dry this month.
Dr Gikungu is next week expected to give the June-August forecast.
However, last week, the IGAD’S Climate Prediction and Applications Centre released a regional forecast showing that Kenya and other parts of the Greater Horn of Africa region will most likely be drier than usual these three months.
In a press statement released during the 64th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ICPAC indicated an increased likelihood of warmer than usual conditions in some parts of the region.
They include northern Sudan, parts of southern and central to western Ethiopia, central and northern Kenya, central and northern Somalia, and coastal parts of Tanzania.
ICPAC is a designated Regional Climate Centre by the World Meteorological Organisation.
“The JJAS rainfall season is particularly important for the northern regions of the GHA, where it contributes to more than 50 per cent of the annual total rainfall,” ICPAC director Dr Guleid Artan said.
He said depressed rainfall, coupled with warmer than usual temperatures, are likely to affect crop productivity in the region, posing more risk to hunger stricken communities.
At least 49 million people are still highly-food insecure in the IGAD region.
Artan said the above average rainfall recorded during the March to May season in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia will however bring some respite to the communities most affected by five consecutive failed rainfall seasons.
ICPAC has further predicted a possible transition between La Niña and El Niño which may result in much wetter weather in the region towards the end of the year.
“It is now very likely that we will transition from La Niña to El Niño between July and September,” Hussein Seid, Climate Modelling Expert at ICPAC said.
Two weeks ago, the World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, said there is a 60 per cent chance for a transition from ENSO-neutral to El Niño during May-July 2023.
The transition probability is set to increase to 80 per cent between July and September.
El Niño, in general, is associated with wetter conditions between October and December in the equatorial parts.
Last week, Timothy Njagi, a senior researcher from Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy & Development, had warned there would be increase in field yield losses due to too much water in the soil or waterlogging if the rains did not end.
Currently post-harvest losses for cereals is at between 10-15 per cent.
He said farmers who planted early would likely experience more post-harvest losses, unlike farmers who planted late.
Njagi said El Niño rains could be good news for farmers who decided to wait for the subsidised fertiliser and planted late, unlike those who planted early.
"This is because the crop has matured by now and if it is still raining, then you are likely to lose. But for those who planted late, the El Nino will be a good thing because ordinarily they would have received low yields because the rains will have gone when you really needed them.
"But because it is continuing to rain, it will turn out to be a blessing,” the researcher said.