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Weatherman warns of hotter days ahead



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Nairobi has been unusually hot in the past few weeks, with surface temperatures hitting 29°C at times and may hit 32°C on March 1, according to experts.

On average, maximum annual temperatures in the city are between 23°C and 24°C, according to the weatherman.

“It never used to be like this. The maximum day-time temperatures in Nairobi would be 28°C. A difference of one degree for someone who is not used to it is stressful,” Kenya Meteorological Department Deputy Director Ayub Shaka said.

But it is not only in Nairobi where temperatures have increased; the situation is the same elsewhere in the country.

Currently, Mandera is the hottest at between 37°C and 39°C, followed by Lodwar at 36°C and Garissa at 35°C.

According to Mr Shaka, annual daytime temperature patterns have changed. For example, annual average temperature in North-western Kenya (Lodwar, Kitale, Kericho, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyahururu, Narok, Nyeri (around Mt Kenya) and Nairobi has continued to increase between 1960s and 2011.

“This, even on a global scale, is considered to be the hottest of the past 10 years. Analysed data shows that rainfall and temperature patterns are changing,” he said.

During an interview, he said rainfall had decreased slightly between 1960 and 2011 in Western (Kisii) and Central highlands, Coast and North Eastern.

This is despite there being daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal temperature variations, “which when averaged show an increasing trend of temperatures”.

According to scientific research, in the past 100 years, temperatures have increased by between 0.5 °C and 1 °C across the globe.

Normally, in January and February the temperature is usually too high because the sun is overhead. “When the sun is overhead, the radiation (heat) is usually high and temperatures are high,” Mr Shaka said.

The sun is currently moving from the South to the North and is expected to cross the Equator on March 22 when there shall be maximum radiation (heat) from the sun in the tropics.

But climate change has compounded the issue. Climate change comes as a result of increased Green House Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere due increased human activities such as industrialisation and deforestation.

The GHGs form a blanket in the atmosphere that traps heat. The overall effect is that high temperatures are experienced on the earth’s surface.