Kenya Meteorological Department disputes equinox heat wave rumours


Kenya Meteorological Department disputes equinox heat wave rumours

Contrary to messages doing rounds on social media, Kenya is not experiencing a heat wave, Kenya Meteorological Department’s Deputy Director Peter Ambenje has said.

The misleading message, which was shared widely on social media towards the end of the week, stated that Kenya would experience elevated temperatures for a period of 5 days.

“Due to the equinox phenomenon that will affect in the next 5 days, please stay indoors especially from 12pm-3pm daily. The temperature will fluctuate till 40 degrees Celsius. This can easily cause dehydration and sun stroke,” read the circular in part.

It went on to advise Kenyans, especially those living in the coastal region, to take up to three litres of water daily to prevent dehydration.

“Everyone should be consuming about three litres of fluid every day. Monitor everyone’s blood pressure as frequently as possible. Many may get heat stroke. [Take] cold showers as frequently as possible,” read the social media post.

Kenya Meteorological Department’s Deputy Director has, however, disputed this warning message, saying that the country is not experiencing heat waves.

“We are not expecting any heat waves because of the equinox – those are just stories doing rounds on social media. There are places in Kenya where the temperature gets to 40 degrees, but that is not out of the ordinary.”

He went on to state that Kenyans need not worry about extreme temperatures: “What you will see is the usual fluctuation of temperature, nothing to raise alarm about.”

Ambenje went on to clarify that the equinox is a normal astronomical phenomenon – one that occurs twice a year.

“The equinox that people are talking about is simply the transition from the winter to spring, and this happens in March every year. It is more evident as you move further from the equator. The next one will take place in September,” he said.

A weather report released by the Meteorological Department on the march 18 stated that Lodwar, Garissa, Madera, and Wajir could hit highs of 38 to 40 degrees Celsius.

The highest temperatures for the coastal region (Malindi, Mombasa and Lamu) vary between 32 and 35 degrees Celsius, with Voi having a possible high of 36 degrees.

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Joy Chelagat
Story By Joy Chelagat
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