East African governments are warning their citizens – many now in the devastation of a drought — that they should prepare for floods.
The Kenyan Meteorological Department has a mixed record of forecasting. In January, two months prior to the normal onset of the “Long Rains” in most of Kenya, it predicted they would be sparse if any. They were right. But the previous year they were very wrong when they predicted pretty normal rainfall for the “Short Rains” over most of the country.
The Tanzanian Meteorological Department is a bit better, and is expected today to issue a statement that will warn that an El Nino is expected to develop by November.
Both departments are taking their lead from a major conference that closed in Kenya, yesterday, attended by weather forecasters from 24 African countries. The “ 24th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 24)” closed in Nairobi warning that heavy rains are coming to East Africa.
The group based its prediction on the rising temperatures of large sections of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific ocean. It also extensively used the U.S.’ National Weather Service August 6 summary of the current El Nino. That statement said that El Nino is expected to strengthen and last through the end of this year into the beginning of next year.
The U.S. report said that the Pacific ocean temperatures were ranging from ½ to 1½ degrees C above normal, especially in the eastern equatorial regions that will effect East Africa. It continued that these temperatures will continue to increase even further leading to increased rainfall in the equatorial regions.