Farmers told to brace themselves for erratic weather patterns
Weathermen now says Kenya will expect continued and unexpected rainfall patterns well into the long rains season as sea temperatures rise due to global warming.
Kenya’s weather patterns have witnessed drastic changes from the traditional rain cycles that farmers are used to and heavily depend on for their economic activities.
The country has of late experienced unpredictable rainy and hot weather patterns, which have left farmers in a state of uncertainty considering 98% of the country’s agriculture is rain-fed.
And according to the meteorological department, this is the new normal.
The months of January and February are usually characterized by hot and dry climatic conditions in the country, a reality that seems to have changed.
This year has seen the country experience rains in January, an occurrence that was last seen over two decades ago.
Many parts of Kenya experience two rain seasons; March to May is characterized by long rains while October to December is characterized by short rains.
The months of June to August are mainly cool and dry over most parts of the country, except for some areas in the western region that receive some rain.
Scientists admit that the major challenge that farmers face is timing and it is critical for them to have a clear grasp of the weather patterns to inform their planting and harvesting decisions.
Away from the shift in patterns, studies also show a reduction in the amount of rainfall received, especially during the march to May long rains’ period.
Scientists link the changes in Kenya’s rainfall patterns to climate change, which has caused overall warming in the atmosphere as well as the ocean
The rainfall outlook for the month of January 2020 indicates that most parts of the country will have occasional rainfall during the first and second weeks of the month and remain generally sunny and dry towards the end of the month.
The rainfall is expected to be more frequent in the afternoon and during the night.
Since October last year, the country has been experiencing above the normal volume of rainfall, which has resulted in flooding, and loss of life and property.