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Dagoretti Corner, Ngong Road, P. O. Box 30259, Nairobi, Kenya, Telephone: 254-20-3867880-5, Fax: 254-20-3876955/387373,

Ref No: KMD/FCST/5-2012/SO/03 1. SUMMARY Issue Date: 05/09/2012


Rainfall Outlook for the 2012 Short Rains (October-November-December) Season

The Climate Outlook for the Short Rains (October-November-December (OND)) 2012 season indicates that much of the country is likely to experience enhanced rainfall. This will be driven mainly by the warming of the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the western Equatorial Indian Ocean adjacent to the East African coastline coupled with cooler than average SSTs in the eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean adjacent to Australia (the so called positive Indian Ocean Dipole IOD). The distribution of the rainfall in time and space is expected to be generally good over most places.


Performance of the 2012 Long Rains (March-April-May) season

Most parts of the country, especially the North-eastern Kenya and the Coastal Strip recorded highly depressed rainfall during March-April-May 2012 Long-Rains Season. This impacted negatively on Agriculture and Livestock sectors. Counties in western and central Kenya recorded heavy and short-lived rainfall that resulted into flash floods that claimed a few human and animal lives. The rainfall was, however, beneficial to the agricultural communities in the regions that received above-normal rainfall.


Performance of the June-July-August 2012 rainfall and temperature

The Western parts of the country continued to record significant amounts of rainfall that was well distributed at most Meteorological Stations in the region. The rainfall occasionally spread to the Central highlands (Aberdare Ranges and Mt. Kenya high grounds) and Nairobi area. Depressed rainfall was however, experienced along the coastal strip while the rest of the country remained generally dry. Occasional cool and cloudy conditions prevailed in the Central Highlands and Nairobi area during JJA 2012. The daytime (maximum) and nighttime (minimum) temperatures were, however, warmer than average over most parts of country. 2. FORECAST FOR THE SHORT RAINS (OCTOBER-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER -OND) 2012 This Climate Outlook for the 2012 Short Rains (October-November-December - OND) Season is mainly based on empirical statistical models developed from expected evolution of global Sea Surface Temperature (SSTs) anomalies, SST gradients and Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). The SST anomaly patterns taken into account include: (i). The warmer than average SSTs in the western Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to the East African coast) coupled with cooler than average SSTs in the eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to Australia). This constitutes what is normally referred to as the positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD); and (ii). The evolving El Nio conditions in the eastern and central Equatorial Pacific Ocean; Dynamical Global Climate Models (GCMs) and Regional Climate Models (RCMs) for the Greater Horn of African region were also applied. The expected Onsets, Cessation and the Distribution of rainfall were derived from statistical analysis of past years (analogue years), which exhibited similar

characteristics to the current year (2012). The Outlook for October-November-December (OND) 2012 Short Rains Season indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience enhanced rainfall. The enhancement is, however, expected to be slight in the Northwestern Counties and the northern parts of Marsabit, Moyale etc. The distribution, both in time and space, is expected to be generally good over most parts of the country. The specific outlook for October-November-December (OND) 2012 is as follows: The areas likely to receive Above-normal (Enhanced) rainfall include: the Western Counties (Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga and Teso); Nyanza Counties (Kisumu, Siaya, Nyamira, Kisii, Migori, Homa Bay); Most of the Counties in Rift Valley Region (Kericho, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Nakuru, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bomet, West Pokot, Narok, Kajiando, and Laikipia); Nairobi County; Central Counties (Kiambu, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Kirinyanga and Muranga); Counties in Southern parts of Eastern Region (Makueni, Machakos, Kitui, Meru and Embu); Coast Counties (Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River, Kwale, Taita Taveta) and North Eastern Counties (Mandera, Garissa, Wajir). These areas are shown in dark green colour in Figure 3 The areas likely to receive near-normal rainfall with a tendency to above-normal (slightly enhanced rainfall) include: Northern parts of Eastern Counties (Marsabit and Isiolo); Counties in Northern Rift Valley (Turkana and Samburu). These areas are shown in light green colour in Figure 3. 3. ONSET AND CESSATION DATES Nyanza and Western Counties including parts of the North Rift: represented by Kakamega, Busia, Kitale, Uasin Gishu, Kisii, Kericho, Kisumu, Nyamira, etc are expected to continue experiencing rainfall during the first week of October spreading from the month of September. The rains are expected to cease during the fourth week of December. The rainfall is, however, likely to continue into January in Counties like Kisii; Northwestern parts: The onset in Turkana County located in the Northwestern parts of the country (Lodwar, Lokitaung, Lokkichogio) is expected during the third to fourth week of October while cessation is expected in the third to fourth week of December; The northern parts of Eastern and Northeastern Counties: (Marsabit, Mandera and Wajir) are expected to experience their onsets in the second to third week of October. The rains are likely to cease during the second to third week of December; Central Counties and Counties in southern parts of Eastern and Northeastern parts of the country: Central Highlands (Kiambu, Meru, Embu, Nyeri, Muranga, and Nyandarua); Nairobi County (Dagoretti, Kabete, Eastleigh etc); Parts of Northeastern (Garissa etc) will experience their onsets in the second to third week of October. The rains are likely to cease during the third to fourth week of December. However, the rainfall is likely to continue into January over some of the areas; Central and Southern Rift: The northern parts of Central Rift Valley (Nakuru and Laikipia) are likely to experience their onset during the first to second week of October and the cessation during the third to fourth week of December. The onset in southern parts (Narok, Kajiado etc) is likely to occur in the fourth week of October to first week of November and extend into January 2013, especially in the Narok county; The Southern parts of Eastern Region and parts of Coast Province: The southeastern lowlands (Voi, Taita Taveta, Makindu, Tana River) are likely to realize the onset during the third to fourth week of October. The cessation is expected during the third to fourth week of December; The Coastal Strip: Onset over the Coastal strip (Malindi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Mtwapa Msambweni, Lungalunga, Lamu, etc) is expected during the first to second week of October and cessation during the third to fourth week of December. The northern Coastal strip (Lamu etc) may, however, experience the onset later during the second to third week of October. (The expected onset and Cessation dates are shown in Figures 2a and 2b). EXPECTED RAINFALL DISTRIBUTION


Rainfall distribution in space and time within the Short Rains Season of 2012 is expected to be generally good over most parts of the country. Heavy storms are likely to occur during the season, and more so, during the rainfall peak month of November. 5. POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF THE SHORT RAINS (OCTOBER-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER (OND)) 2012

5.1 Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock Development and Food Security Sectors Enhanced rainfall is expected over most agricultural areas of the country. It is also expected that the rainfall will be well distributed. This will highly enhance agricultural activities in most of the areas. Diversification in crops is still important. Farmers are advised to liaise with the Ministry of Agriculture to make the best use of the rains in planting appropriate crops in order to maximize on the crop yield. There is a likelihood of increased post harvest losses especially in the grain basket areas of Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia. In areas where Fisheries is the main activity, the enhanced rainfall will improve stratification of both ocean and lake waters such that nutrients, from land, a source of food for the fish, will remain on the top layer of the water surface, thus improving fish catches. Foliage and pasture conditions in the pastoral areas of Northern, Northwestern and Northeastern Kenya are expected to improve as a result of expected good rainfall performance during the season. 5.2 Environment, Forestry and Wildlife Sectors The Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources is urged to take advantage of the expected enhanced rainfall and encourage people in various parts of the country to put in place soil conservation measures to minimize environmental degradation due to soil erosion, especially in riparian areas along rivers and streams. The rains are expected to be quite adequate for tree planting in order to increase the forest cover in the country and allow for the re-generation of forest cover. Municipalities are encouraged to urgently construct storm drainage systems and open up clogged drainages to avoid piling of floodwaters in cities and towns from surface runoff triggered by heavy rain showers. 5.3 Disaster Management Sector Flooding and land/mudslides are likely to occur in prone areas of Western, Lower Tana and Central Kenya. Areas to watch out for flooding include the Northeastern areas around Garissa, lower Tana, Kano plains in Nyanza and Budalangi in Western Province. Other areas prone to landslides / mudslides are Muranga and Nandi Hills areas. Heavy storms accompanied by lightning are also expected in Western Kenya especially Kisii, Nandi and Kakamega. The public is advised not to shelter under trees as these renders them vulnerable to the lightning strikes prevalent in Western Kenya and Kericho-Nandi Hills areas. If caught in a storm, one should run instead of walking. Further, when sheltering in a house or building, avoid being close to windows or doors. It is also recommended that you wear shoes or slippers since rubber is a poor conductor of electricity. It is advisable not to drive in a severe storm accompanied by wind gusts and where visibility is impaired. In such events, motorists are advised to stop and wait for the storm to subside. Motorists are also advised not to drive their cars across streams where water is about 2 ft in depth to avoid being washed away. Equally, people are also advised not to cross such streams. It should be noted that running water has an enormous momentum and force. Creation of community disaster response plans that prioritize in saving of assets and food stocks is encouraged. Areas like Northeastern and Southeastern Kenya currently experiencing food shortage are still in need of Humanitarian Emergency assistance up to the Long Rains season of 2013.

5.4 Health Sector The counties of Kisii, Kakamega and the Lake Basin are expected to experience increased transmission of malaria during the forthcoming Short Rains season. Malaria transmission will also be on the increase in the highlands of Kericho and Nandi. The health sector is, therefore, advised to ensure that standard intervention procedures are in place before the onset of the rains. The coastal areas are also likely to experience malaria upsurges, particularly in areas such as the Tana River Basin that are prone to flooding. Malaria control interventions should, therefore, be scaled up so as to combat such outbreaks. Flooding in these areas could also lead to water-borne diarhea diseases like Cholera, Typhoid and Dysentery, requiring appropriate interventions to be in place so as to manage them as they arise. The Ministry of Livestock should also be on the lookout for any outbreak or increase in livestock diseases such as Rift Valley Fever, Septicaemia, Anthrax and Foot rot including tick borne diseases and internal & external parasites. 5.5 Transport and Public Safety Sector Motorists: The expected enhanced rainfall is likely to lead to muddy and slippery conditions on the roads in most parts of the country. This may result in vehicles getting stuck and stalling in the muddy sections. Accidents may also occur as vehicles veer suddenly due to slippery conditions. Motorists are, therefore, advised to drive carefully in order to avoid such accidents that may emanate from the poor road conditions. Swelling of streams will cause water to overflow over bridges that were constructed without use of climate data on Return Periods. Aviation: Aircrafts flying to the Western parts of the country (Kisumu, Eldoret and Lokkichogio) are advised to be aware of the high convective activities and turbulence over the Kericho-Nandi Hills area and avoid flying directly into Cumulo Nimbus (raining) clouds. Maritime and Shipping: Marine vessels may encounter rough seas due to the expected strong winds and heavy storms over the ocean. Mariners are therefore advised to be weary of possible rough seas. 5.6 Water Resources Management and the Energy Sector The enhanced rainfall expected during the October to December 2012 Short Rain season over most parts of the country, will lead to increased water levels in both water supply and hydroelectric-powergenerating dams in the Tana and Turkwel River systems. In other areas, communities should take advantage of the good rains to harvest rain-water for future use, using simple technologies. In general, the good rainfall is expected to reduce water stress in most areas. There are chances of increased soil erosion and land degradation associated with heavy rainfall. Communities living in high potential areas, especially in the highlands and the coastal zone, are advised to implement soil erosion control measures such as terracing, planting of grass (e.g. nappier) and clearing of drainage trenches to divert storm runoff. High moisture excess is expected in many parts of the country. This could lead to riverine-flooding in the Lake Victoria, Lower Tana and Athi basins including flash-flooding in other areas. 5.7 Trade, Commerce and Industry Sectors Some sections of the road network in the country turn out to be muddy and slippery resulting to vehicles stalling in the muddy sections. Damaged transport infrastructure like bridges occasioned by landslides or being washed away by strong water currents in some areas may occur. This may lead to late delivery or non-delivery of raw materials and industrial products to the industries and distribution outlets respectively as well as increase in loss of perishable fresh produce. 5.8 Conflict Early Warning The expected rainfall in the Coastal, Eastern and Central regions will bring about the rejuvenation of the general vegetation for both wild and domestic animals. Thus, wildlife is expected to benefit greatly hence lowering the human-wildlife conflict.


Marine sector

Coral Reefs: The expected enhanced rainfall will result in higher sedimentation and freshwater inputs into the coastal waters potentially impacting adjacent reefs negatively. Mangroves and Fisheries: The expected enhanced rainfall in the region will increase river flows and bring in more nutrients to coastal waters. This will enhance growth of mangrove seedlings and increase Fish catches and prawns. Extreme rainfall may, however, result to massive sedimentation and suffocation of the mangroves. Coastal communities are therefore expected to apply good land use practices to reduce soil erosion, enhanced catchment management and monitoring of sediment dynamics in mangroves for the Coral Reefs and Mangrove ecosystems. They are also advised to adhere to environmental friendly shore management practices and institute good management measures for fish processing and storage for shoreline dynamics and the enhanced fish landings respectively.

This forecast should be used as guidance in planning and preparedness by decisionmakers and the public and in various climate sensitive sectors. More detailed sectorspecific and localized forecast may be obtained on request from the Kenya Meteorological Department headquarters as well as the County Meteorological Offices.



6.1 REVIEW OF MARCH-APRIL-MAY 2012 RAINFALL An assessment of the rainfall recorded in March to May 2012, indicates that the March-April-May 2012 seasonal rainfall was enhanced over most parts of Western and Central highlands including Nairobi. Several stations in these regions recorded above 100 percent of their seasonal Long-Term Means (LTMs). The distribution in time and space was, however, generally poor. Elsewhere, the rainfall performance was generally poor over most of the eastern sector of the country. The poor performance was reflected both in the amounts received and the distribution in time and space. Most parts of the country, for example, remained generally dry during the month of March 2012 and the first half of April 2012. The total rainfall amounts recorded in March barely exceeded 50 percent of the LTMs at most meteorological stations in the country. The northeastern Kenya and the Coastal areas recorded the most depressed rainfall during the season. Lamu, Mombasa, Mtwapa, Mandera and Garissa stations, for example, recorded less than 50% of their seasonal LTMs. Several rainfall storms were recorded during the period. The heaviest storm of 105.5mm was recorded at Embu station on 16th May. This amount is the highest ever recorded at Embu Meteorological Station in the month of May in the last 36 years (since 1976). Other stations that recorded intense rainfall storms of above 80mm include Malindi station that had 104.5mm on 15th May 2012 as well as Kakamega and Kericho in western Kenya, Moi Airbase and Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Nyeri in the central highlands, Machakos in southeastern Kenya and Msabaha along the Coastal strip. The performance of the March-May seasonal rainfall is depicted in Figure 1a. Kericho Meteorological station recorded the highest seasonal rainfall amount of 892.4mm (132% of its LTM), while the lowest amount of just 19.2mm (13%) was recorded at Garissa Meteorological Station. This amount at Garissa was the second lowest Long Rains seasonal rainfall total in the last 53 years (since 1959). 6.2 REVIEW OF WEATHER IN JUNE TO AUGUST (JJA) 2012

6.2.1 RAINFALL IN JUNE-AUGUST, 2012 In June-July-August (JJA) 2012, most parts of the Western Highlands, Lake Victoria Basin and Central Rift Valley experienced enhanced rainfall that occasionally spread to the central counties of

the country including Nairobi area. The most enhanced rainfall occurred during the months of June and August when most stations in the region recorded over 125 percent of their June and August LTMs respectively. On 12th August, Lodwar station in Northwestern Kenya recorded 84mm of rainfall that happened to be the highest daily rainfall amount ever recorded at the station during the month of August in the last 86 years (since 1926) and the third highest to be recorded at the station in all seasons in the last 86 years. The Coastal strip recorded generally depressed rainfall during the season. Enhanced rainfall was however, recorded over the region during the month of August. The rest of the country remained generally dry, as expected, during this time of the year. Eldoret Airport Meteorological station recorded the highest JJA seasonal rainfall amount of 708.3mm (137% of its LTM). Kakamega, Kisii, Eldoret, Nyahururu and Kericho stations recorded 614.1mm (115%), 500.2mm (103%), 428.1mm (98%), 418.2mm (107%) and 408.3mm (75%) respectively. Kitale, Nakuru, Malindi, Kisumu and Msabaha stations recorded between 200 and 400 mm while the rest of the stations recorded less than 200mm. The June-July-August 2012 rainfall performance is shown in Figure 1b. 6.2.2 TEMPERATURE IN JUNE-JULY-AUGUST, 2012 The Central highlands and Nairobi area experienced occasional cool and cloudy conditions during the period. Analysis of June-July-August surface air temperatures, however, indicates that both the minimum (night-time) and maximum (day-time) temperatures for the period were warmer than average over most parts of the country. The average maximum temperature at Wajir and Lamu Meteorological Stations, for example, were 1.6C and 1.5C above average respectively while the average minimum temperatures at Narok and Nakuru Meteorological Stations were 2.2C and 2.1C above average respectively. The daytime temperatures on several occasions fell below 20C. Nyeri and Dagoretti Corner Meteorological Stations recorded maximum temperatures as low as 16.5C and 16.8C on 26th and 11th August, respectively, while on 8th July, the Nyeri Station recorded 16.9C. 7. EXPERIENCED IMPACTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE MARCH-APRIL-MAY 2012 LONG RAINS The enhanced rainfall recorded in the western and central highlands including Nairobi, and the poor rainfall performance experienced over most of the eastern sector of the country had both positive and negative impacts on various sectors such as agriculture, energy and livestock among others. 7.1 Positive Impacts Good crop performance in the central and western highlands as well as central Rift Valley (Nakuru, Narok etc); Pasture regeneration for livestock in the pastoral areas of Kajiado and other areas within Rift Valley; and Increase in water levels in the Seven-Forks as well as Turkwel and Sondu Miriu hydroelectric power generation dams due to enhanced rainfall in the respective catchment areas. 7.2 Negative Impacts Flash floods that claimed several human lives and displaced several families, especially in western and central Kenya including Nairobi; Landslides that rendered several families homeless in places like Maragua in Muranga county; Poor crop performance was recorded in the agricultural areas of southeastern Kenya and the Coastal region. Excessive rainfall in the western and central areas also hampered development of certain crops such as beans; Flash floods also swept away crops in some of the areas; Swelling of Lake Baringo in Marigat reclaimed land that had been settled on; Diminishing pasture for livestock in the pastoral areas of northeastern Kenya; and Problems related to water scarcity that also led to outbreak of diseases like Cholera in some parts of the country.


This forecast should be used in conjunction with the four-day, weekly and monthly forecasts including updates issued by this Department.





Figure 2a: Expected Onset Dates for OND2012 Short-Rains Seasonal Rainfall

Figure 2b: Expected Cessation Dates for OND2012 Short-Rains Seasonal Rainfall

Figure 3b: October-December 2012 Short-Rains Outlook