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Weatherman warns of below-average rainfall for March-May long rains season

Bye bye summer 2009 Welcome autumn Ivars Indāns Panoramio

By George Munene

According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, average to below-average rainfall is expected over most of the country over the March-April-May long rains season.

Depressed rains will be most evident in Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Central Rift Valley, Highlands East of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi County), Coastal region, most of Northeastern and Southeastern Lowlands, and Western parts of Narok.

Near-average rainfall is expected over parts of Northwestern (Central and eastern Turkana), parts of South Rift Valley (Eastern Narok), parts of Southeastern lowlands (Kajiado), and the Western parts of Marsabit.

The peak of the rains is expected to be in April for most regions except over the Coastal Strip where the peak is expected in May.

The specific outlook for March to May 2023 “Long-Rains” Season is as follows:

  1. The Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Lake Victoria Basin, parts of Central Rift

Valley and parts of South Rift Valley and parts of Northwest: (Trans Nzoia, Uasin

Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, West Pokot, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kisii, Kericho,

Nandi, Bomet, Nyamira, Western parts of Baringo and Nakuru, Western parts of Narok

and Western parts of Turkana) are expected to receive rainfall that is likely to be below

the Long Term Mean (LTM) for the March to May season (depressed rainfall).

  • Rainfall in this region is expected to start in the third to fourth week of March and continue into June
  1. Central Rift Valley (Laikipia, Eastern Nakuru and Baringo): are expected to receive

rainfall that is likely to be below the long-term average amounts for the season (highly

depressed rainfall).

  1. Parts of Northwest, Southeastern lowlands, and South Rift Valley: (Central and

Eastern parts of Turkana, Western Marsabit, Kajiado, and Eastern parts of Narok), are

expected to receive near-average rainfall (normal rainfall).

  1. The Highlands East of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi County): (Nyandarua,

Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, and Nairobi) are

expected to receive rainfall that is likely to be below the long-term average amounts for

the season (highly depressed rainfall).

  • Rainfall is expected to start in the fourth week of March to the first week of April to the third to fourth week of May 
  1. The Northeast and parts of the Northwest: (Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Isiolo,

Samburu and Eastern parts of Marsabit) are expected to receive rainfall that is likely to

be below the long-term average for the season (highly depressed rainfall).

  1. The Southeastern Lowlands: (Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, and Taita Taveta): are

expected to receive rainfall that is likely to be below the long-term average for the

season (highly depressed rainfall).

  • Rainfall is expected in the first to the second week of April to the second to the third week of May
  1. The Coastal Strip: (Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu, and Kwale counties) are

expected to receive rainfall that is likely to be below the long-term average for the season

(highly depressed rainfall).

  • Rainfall is expected from the second to the third week of April and continue into June

The season is expected to experience normal to delayed onset with poor distribution characterized by long dry spells over the areas that are expected to receive below-average rainfall. Occasional localized storms are however still likely to be experienced in some parts of the country.

Above-average temperatures are expected over the whole country with increased probabilities over the Northwestern, parts of the Highlands West of the Rift Valley, and parts of the Northeast.

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