Weather man dismisses El Nino reports
12 June 2014, 10:41
Nairobi - The Kenya Meteorological Service (KMS) Wednesday dismissed reports that El Nino rains would be experienced in Kenya starting July 2014.
In a statement, James Kongoti, the Acting Director of KMS said the information was being disseminated to the general public without reference to KMS.
He said KMS is the only body that is authorized to provide guidance on the current status and development of El-Nino conditions and its potential impacts on the rainfall patterns in Kenya.
“The information is not only confusing Kenyans but also creating anxiety and panic. It is therefore imperative that technical advice be sort from KMS prior to such information being disseminated to the general public,” Kongoti said.
He said the transitional period for the possible development of El Nino conditions whose maturity is normally in December is in March, April, May and June.
“The current projections from Global models are for a high possibility of an El-Nino developing to full maturity in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. However, the indications for the full development and maturity of El-nino conditions will be clearer in August,” he said adding that this is the time KMS will issue the outlook for the 2014 "Short Rains" rainfall season in the country.
According to Kongoti, not all El-Ninos result in what was experienced in the country in 1997/98 in terms of heavy rainfall.
“In the minds of many Kenyans, a mention of El-Nino occurrence reflects back to the 1997/98 kind of rainfall patterns in October, November, December period. Note that we had subsequent El-Nino events in 2002/03, 2006/07 and 2009/10. To ordinary people, these went unnoticed because their impacts were not as that of 1997/98 El-Nino because of other factors,” he said.
He said KMS is monitoring the evolutions of the event every week and month and will keep Kenyans updated on the potential development.
“The seasonal outlook to be issued at the end of August or early September will provide a clear picture as to how El-Nino and other factors will influence the rainfall patterns to be experienced in October, November and December 2014,” Kongoti added.
He urged members of public to treat such information with care and seek clarification from KMS saying the latest Global model outputs for the development of El-Nino are not showing a “Mother” of all El-Ninos occurring as reported.
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