By Vanessa Akoth
The season of June-July- August (JJA) in Kenya despite being characterized with cold weather has recently in the months of June and July recorded above-average night temperatures in most parts of the country.
“In line with the global trend we are actually seeing a rise in temperatures especially, nighttime temperatures that have been really consistent seeing a warming trend in all parts of the country,” Mary Kilavi, Public Weather Services, Assistant Director, Kenya Meteorological Department said.
In June, she observed that it is only a few locations that have recorded less than average nighttime temperatures including places within the central highlands, like Embu and also South Eastern -Makindu, and just a few other places like Nyahururu, Kericho and Kisii and really not by that much.
“Nighttime temperatures are still slightly higher than average for most places except Embu and Makindu where we have seen minimum temperatures drop in July and also by about -2.7 degrees in Embu and Makindu by -1.5 degrees Celsius,” Kilavi added.
Kilavi mentioned that according to projections in climate change models an increase in temperature is expected to lead to an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme events.
An increase in temperature may stir more extreme events in the future including more frequent and intense droughts and also flooding due to heavy rainfall events, she said.
In addition, the Assistant Director said that in other places like where winter is usually experienced, more frequent winter storms and more extreme heatwaves are to be expected. This is generally what the weather projections are showing that is to be expected with warming climates, she affirmed.
With regards to rainfall, she said: “As far as rainfall is concerned the trends in rainfall are not quite significant but generally what we have been seeing is maybe a decrease in the long rains season and a lot of variability with the short rains. An increase in the intensity and frequency of droughts say for example that is expected with a change in warming climate would then make a sector like agriculture a lot harder.”