Why strange weather pattern in Kenya, Tanzania may worsen

Why strange weather pattern in Kenya, Tanzania may worsen

Unusually strong winds hit Kenya and Tanzania this week resulting in deaths, power outages, dust storms, damaged houses and uprooted trees.

Experts say the strange weather pattern also characterized by interchanging hot and cold temperatures is about to get worse.

“I mostly fear about the situation in East Africa, which is vulnerable even without an adverse climate event,” Dr. Saji N.Hameed, a Professor at Japan’s University of Aizu told weather.com last month.

In Kenya, one person was killed in an electrocution incident while in Tanzania, two tourists reportedly died after the strong winds capsized their boat on Lake Momela in Arusha.

According to Prof. Hameed, the current weather pattern is linked to the strongest Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) on record.

He describes IOD as the El Niño of the Indian Ocean; a phenomenon whose positive phase is associated with higher monsoon rainfall in India, the report reads.

The Professor, who has studied IODs for 20 years, warns that it could have devastating effects around the world, Kenya and Tanzania included.

In Kenya, the IOD is expected to lead to extreme rainfall from October to December.

Tanzania experienced devastating effects of the unpredictable weather changes

“Massive sandstorms engulf Arusha in Tanzania, as unseasonally strong winds sweep eastern Africa,” the BBC report said.

Kenya and Tanzania are among the African countries that have coastlines along the Indian Ocean alongside Mauritius, South Africa, Comoros, Sudan, Egypt, and Seychelles.

Prof. Hameed who has studied IODs for the past 20 years says the phenomenon occurs every 10 years.

The Kenya Meteorological Department confirmed that Tuesday’s windstorm emanated from the Indian Ocean and will continue for the next four days.

“The system is characterized by strong South easterly winds of about 15-20 Knots, updraft and downdraft winds with heavy convective rains. Areas around Nairobi was due to a localized storm due to unstable atmosphere,” the weatherman said.

The Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) also avers that East Africa will experience increased frequency of extreme weather as global temperatures continue spiral upwards.

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Story By Paul Ombati
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