IGAD warns of heavy rains in Horn of Africa until March 2024

The greater part of the Horn of Africa is expected to receive heavy rains between January and March 2024, with the weather pattern following recent El Nino rains, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC) said on Friday.

The institution, based in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, said in the forecast that wetter than usual conditions are expected over southern and equatorial parts of the region, which include Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, southern Uganda as well as southwestern and northeastern Ethiopia.

“Normal to dry than normal conditions are expected over a few areas in central Kenya, and northern and western Tanzania,” the ICPAC added.

The Horn of Africa region is generally dry during the period after the October-to-December short rain season, but climate change is altering the weather pattern.

Besides the expected heavy rains, the ICPAC observed that temperatures would be higher than normal during the period.

The worst to be affected regions would include parts of northern Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, where temperatures may rise to between 32 and 40 degrees Celsius.

The Horn of Africa has, in the last year, experienced rapid changes in weather patterns, with the worst drought ending in March 2023, followed by El Nino rains in October and the expected heavy rains from January 2024.

The prolonged drought left 23.4 million people facing hunger and 5.1 million children acutely malnourished, according to the World Food Program.

Similarly, floods caused by El Nino rains killed about 300 people and displaced millions in Somalia, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, noted the ICPAC.

Source: Xinhua

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