Large parts of Kenya have been experiencing extremely cold weather conditions over the last few days, with Nairobi clouded in fog and experiencing intermittent rains over the last 3 days.
Assistant Director, climate services and head of public weather at the Kenya Meteorological Department Dr Richard Muita has since shed some light on the snow phenomenon experienced in Narok and the unusual cold weather registered across the country.
â€œWhen the cold air tries to rise, it meets the warm air up there, and because the process is not complete and there is no sufficient heat to melt, the cold air particles comes down as ice,â€ he explained in reference to the snow witnessed in Narok.
Residents of Melili and Olorkuto in Narok woke up to blankets of snow and battled with the extreme weather temperatures over the weekend.
As for how long the unusually cold temperatures would last, Dr Muita revealed that the phenomenon is expected to recede in the second or third week of September 2020.
He further explained that the rainfall experienced over the last few days was as a result of warm air blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean coming through the western part of the country.
â€œWhen the cold air rises, it has substantial amounts of moisture in it. So, when it rises and combines with the warm air in the west, then it results in rains including storms and hailstorms,” he detailed.
In a statement issued on September 7, the weatherman also announced that the short rains experienced between October-December, would be below the normal levels.
This was attributed to average ocean temperatures recorded in the part of the Indian Ocean that borders the eastern part of the African continent.
“The below average projected rainfall during this period signals large parts of the country experiencing a dry period in December 2020,” the report reads in part.
The areas expected to experience normal rainfall levels were listed as: Vihiga, Kakamega, Bungoma, Nyanza, Siaya, Homa Bay, Nyamira. Parts of Migori and Kisii, Kericho, West Pokot, Nandi, Bomet, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, and parts of Narok, Laikipia, Turkana, and Samburu.
However, the water levels of the lakes located in the Rift Valley are expected to rise even higher, due to the heavy rainfall experienced in the water catchment areas in August 2020.
In Narok, residents were left counting their losses as the blanket of ice left a trail of destruction in its wake.
John ole Pesi, a local resident, lost an entire 10-acre crop of potatoes as the hailstones pounded his farm overnight.
The rains which started at around 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, went on for 12 hours straight with residents amazed to find a ‘white’ landscape in the morning.
Narok County Meteorology Director Peter Runanu shared his expert opinion on the unusual weather, stating that the hailstones resulted from cloud billows spanning all the way to Nyandarua falling on their turf.
He went on to reveal that the snow cover was at least 5 cm deep following what he termed as a natural occurrence.