Major hazards and severe weather in Kenya by Bernard Chanzu Presented at swfdp at Entebbe Kenya Meteorological Department P.O. Box 30259 – 00100 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: 254-20-3876957/60 E-mail: email@example.com
Background of KMD • Established in line with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Convention as a colonial service for East Africa way back in 1929 • KMD became a Department of the Government of Kenya in 1977 after the collapse of the East African Community (EAC).
The Main Objective of KMD To provide accurate and timely weather and climate information and services required for: • the safety of life; • protection of property;and • conservation of the natural environment
HAZARDS • A potentially damaging physical event, human activity or phenomenon with a potential to cause loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption of life, environmental degradation among other effect. • These occur all over the world and are, on their own not harmful. However when these natural hazards interact with people, they are likely to cause damage of varying magnitude resulting in a disaster.
Major hazards in Kenya Kenya experiences a number of natural hazards, the most common being weather related, including: • Heavy rains leading to floods, • Dry spells leading to droughts, • Heavy rains leading landslides, • lightening/thunderstorms, • Extreme temperatures leading to frost • Dry spells leading to wild fires, • Strong winds leading to destructions. • Fog leads to highway accidents
Hazards in Kenya • Weather hazards have had adverse effects on most communities in Kenya • The Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASALs) are prone to harsh weather conditions • Drought is the most prevalent natural hazard in Kenya affecting mainly Eastern, North Eastern, parts of Rift Valley and coast Provinces. • Floods seasonally affect various parts of the country especially along the flood plains in the Lake Victoria basin and in Tana river while landslides are experienced during the long rains season running from March to May especially in Murang’a district and areas surrounding the Mount Kenya region.
Common hazards in prone areas Drought prone provinces • Eastern, North Eastern, coast, parts of Rift Valley Flood prone areas • Budalangi, Nyando, Rachuonyo, Tanariver Landslide prone zones • Muranga district, parts of Kiambu, Thika, Maragua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua and areas around mount Kenya region.
Recent events • In the recent past these hazards have increased in number, frequency and complexity. • El Nino rains (1997-1998) had profoundly negative implications on the economy of Kenya and the livelihoods of its population • Very heavy rainfall was recorded over most parts of the country in April 2012 and the beginning of May 2012, this resulted into flooding, landslides and land subsiding in the R. Valley causing huge galley like opening on the land surface
Forecasting severe weather in Kenya • Mandate of Kenya Meteorological Department • Enables Decision-Making in Planning, Preparedness and Good Disaster Management; • Enhances Safety and Protection of Life; • Helps reduce damage to Property, Infrastructure and the Environment
METEOROLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE & CURRENT OBSERVATIONAL NETWORK Capacity METEOROLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE • Data Observational systems and network; • Data telecommunication systems and network; • Data procession, analysis and forecasting systems; • Product and information dissemination systems; • Human resource capital CURRENT OBSERVATIONAL NETWORK Synoptic Stations: • 38 manned 24-hr Surface Synoptic Stations, • 17 agro-meteorological stations • 4 marine Tidal gauges with automatic Met sensors. • 1 Upper-Air station in Nairobi Automatic Weather Observing Systems: • 36Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs) • 3 Airport Weather Observation Systems (AWOSs) at JKIA, Wilson & MIA • 17 Hydromet AWSs for water catchment areas Rainfall Stations: • Over 1000 rainfall stations most of which are operated by Voluntary Observers Lightning and Thunderstorms detection • 4 Lightning and thunderstorm detection systems at Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret Remote Sensing • 3 Satellite ground receiving stations: • 2 for MSG; and • 1 for NOAA satellite data
Existing Stations In process
Tools used for server weather forecasting at KMD • Rely more on model outputs • COSMO 7 km (ran at KMD twice daily) 3 days forecast • WRF 7km (ran at KMD twice daily) 3 days forecast • RSMC web (very useful of late) • GFS • UK Met products • ECMWF • US Navy fleet Numerical Meteorology and oceanographic (FNMO) Model for Marine • The visualizations is combined with satellite images from MSG for short range forecasting
Thresholds • Winds in excess of 20m/s • Rains in excess of 50mm/day • Rough sea: Wave Height of 3.0 – 4.0 m ……….. (≈ 9.0 – 12.0 ft) • Example of our advisory
challenges • data • Capacity • Structures for advisory to the public • Rapid developing systems