The extreme rainfall that has been pounding the country since October could have been triggered by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) also referred to as the El Nino of the Indian Ocean. The Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna recently revealed that so far, 132 people lost their lives and approximately 17,000 people been displaced due to the heavy rainfall and floods.
In October Ist, a rare windstorm swept across Kenya and some parts of Tanzania Tuesday afternoon causing power outages in Nairobi, Murang’a in central, Thika and Machakos towns on the outskirts of Nairobi. Kenya Meteorological Department deputy explained that the wind as a result of unstable air marking the start of the short rains season, which quickly switched to a strange weather pattern, characterized by interchanging hot and cold temperatures that experts warned could get worse.
A Tanzania Weather Forecast in September by Prof. Hameed linked the current weather pattern to the strongest Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) on record. Meteorologists describe the Indian Ocean dipole, sometimes called the Indian El Niño, as an irregular oscillation in which the surface temperature of the sea is alternatively greater in the ocean’s west and its east.
According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, the current positive dipole is the strongest since measurements began in 2001, During the positive phase, it is warmer in the West and more rains are experienced in the west and a greater chance of drought in the east and these results are reversed in the negative phase.
The warm ocean around East Africa has resulted in torrential rain and floods that have displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Somalia and submerged towns in South Sudan, and flash floods have caused landslides in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania.