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Several parts of the country are likely to experience to experience significantly low amounts of rainfall as a result of below average sea surface temperatures in the India Ocean/FILE

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Below average sea surface temperatures to depress short rains

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 6 – The latest Climate Outlook by the Kenya Meteorological Department forecasts depressed rainfall during the October-November-December Short Rains season in what is being attributed to a mild La Nino.

Several parts of the country are likely to experience to experience significantly low amounts of rainfall as a result of below average sea surface temperatures in the India Ocean.

The outlook published on Saturday predicted the onset of rains in Western Counties (Busia, Vihiga, Kakamega, Bungoma; Nyanza Counties (Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Nyamira, Migori, Kisii); Central and North Rift Valley (Kericho, West Pokot, Nandi, Bomet, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Nakuru, Laikipia, Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo) in September 2020.

The Weatherman forecast the cessation of the rains is likely to fall on either the third and fourth week of December 2020.

Short rains are likely to begin between the third and the fourth week of October in the counties located in Central Kenya as well as in the Capital City, Nairobi. The cessation is predicted to fall on the fourth week of November 2020 and the first week of December 2020.

Counties in the Coastal strip, South Rift Valley, North-Eastern, Southern Kenya and parts of the Coast Region are likely to experience the onset of the rains in the fourth week of October and November which last until the third or fourth week of December.

The Met Department further noted that despite the depressed rains, isolated incidences of storms are likely, even in the areas expected to receive depressed rains, which may cause flash floods.

According to the outlook, December will be characterized by sunny and dry conditions expected to prevail over several places in the country.

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“In the month of December sunny and dry conditions are expected to prevail over several places as the cessation begins. Several parts of western Kenya will continue experiencing rainfall from the month of September,” the outlook read in part.

The Meteorological Department also warned that water levels in the Rift Valley lakes are likely to remain high and may cause flooding in surrounding areas.

This is because catchments feeding the lakes have continued to receive above-normal rainfall since the short rains of 2019 hence may continue to yield high water levels.

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