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May rainfall: 32 counties to receive above normal rainfall

Map showing counties and expected rainfal for May 2021
Rainfall forecast for May 2021. Diagram by Kenya Meteorological Department.

The rainfall is expected to help agricultural production in high potential counties. On the other hand, rainfall in arid counties in May is expected to improve growth of vegetation and pasture. However, this may not sustain the pasture to the next rainy season in the 13 counties. Kenya Meteorological Department says this could lead to conflicts because of water and pasture shortage for livestock.

32 counties could receive increased rainfall in May. These counties are in Lake Victoria Basin, western Kenya, central and south Rift Valley, north western and central Kenya.

Of the 32 counties, rainfall is expected to continue in 20 counties in May, said Kenya Meteorological Department. The counties are Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia.

The department expects rainfall amounts to be above average during the first half of the month and near average during the second half of the month. The rains will continue into June, according to the department’s Outlook for May 2021.

Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu are likely to receive near or slightly above average rainfall during the first half of May. Occasional rainfall is likely to occur during the second half of the month, according to the report. The expected total rainfall amounts are likely to be near the long-term average for the region.

Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi counties are expected to get above average rainfall during the first half of May.

The department expects occasional dry spells in the second half of May. The rainfall amounts are likely to be above the long-term average for the region. 

South eastern, north eastern

10 counties are likely to receive near average rainfall. The counties are Kajiado, Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Taita Taveta, Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo.

Kajiado, Kitui, Makueni, Machakos and Taita Taveta are expected to get occasional rainfall in the first half of May. It is however expected to reduce in the third to fourth week as the rainy season comes to an end.

Rainfall in these five counties is likely to be near to below the long-term average for May.

Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo counties could get occasional rainfall at the beginning of May. The rainfall is however likely to reduce in the third to fourth week as the rainy season comes to an end.

The expected rainfall amounts in these five counties are likely to be near the long-term average for May.

Coastal Strip

Five counties in the Coastal region are likely to get below average rainfall. The counties are Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale. They are expected to get occasional rainfall in May. The expected rainfall amounts are likely to be below the long-term average. May marks the peak of the long rains season in the Coastal Strip.

May marks the end of the long rains season over several parts of the country except for the Coastal region and western Kenya.

READ: March to May season: Most counties to get rain in March

What is the impact of the rainfall?

Kenya Meteorological Department says the expected rainfall is likely to be conducive for agricultural production in the high-potential counties.

These counties are Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia.

They are expected to get near or above average rainfall.

READ: March to May rainfall: Agricultural areas to get above normal rain

The department says flooding is likely in low-lying areas and flood plains especially over the Western parts of Kenya where occasional rainfall is expected. Cases of lightning strikes are still likely in the Lake Victoria Basin and western Kenya.

Rainfall during the first half of May in arid regions of the country is expected to improve regeneration of vegetation and pasture. However, the department says this may not sustain the pasture to the next rainy season.

Thus, there is likelihood of shortage of water and pasture for livestock beyond May in 13 counties. This may also lead to potential conflicts.

The counties are Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Taita Taveta, Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu.

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About Kaburu Mugambi

Kaburu Mugambi
Kaburu Mugambi is a veteran of business reporting having worked with two national newspapers in Kenya. He is a graduate of economics from Kenyatta University. He started his journalism career in 2000 with The People Daily as a business reporter before becoming a business sub-editor. He joined Daily Nation in 2004 as a business writer. He holds a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and an MBA in marketing from the same university. In 2016, he founded Water Tower, a media firm focused on water, energy and climate. Its content cuts across water, energy and climate with emphasis on adaptation and sustainability.

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