UoN Meteorologist Reveals Cause of Sudden Heat Wave and Month When It Will End

A distant view of Nairobi city experiencing sunny weather condition
A distant view of Nairobi city experiencing sunny weather condition
Maasai Mara National Park

On Wednesday, 21st February, Robert Ouma, a Kenya Meteorological Department official based at the University of Nairobi, revealed the cause of the escalating heatwave currently being experienced in various parts of the country.

During an interview with Citizen TV, Ouma attributed the high temperatures to a high-pressure system that forms in the aftermath of the El Nino phenomenon. He explained that the cool wind from the north blows southwards, causing warm air in the south to rise upwards towards the north, resulting in the current heatwave. 

“There is a wave of energy that is passing through, so waves of the extreme temperatures that we are feeling would make people start thinking we have a heat wave," Ouma stated.

"In this period of the year, the pressure systems of the north are becoming more intense than pressure systems to the south, basically because the sun is more to the south than to the north and so we have our rain belt pushed to the south,” he narrated. 

A photo of the University of Nairobi Main Campus
A photo of the University of Nairobi Main Campus
University of Nairobi

According to him, this period of the year is usually characterised by high temperatures so it's not unusual. 

He also pointed out that the high temperatures being observed in Nairobi are similarly being experienced in various parts of the country, including regions that are currently receiving rainfall.

“Our temperatures in Nairobi for example are usually 24 or 25 degrees centigrade so when it goes to 28 it starts feeling warm, currently we have been experiencing up to 30 degrees centigrade and that is very very warm,” Ouma elaborated.

The weatherman further stated that from March this year going into April, the temperatures are expected to subside with the onset of the rainy season.

“So we are heading into March where we are expecting the rains to start. They may be delayed, but eventually, they will come," the weatherman noted.

The pronouncement by the UoN-based meteorologist comes a day after Kenya Met warned of hot temperatures expected to be experienced in several counties including Nairobi.

According to Kenya Met in its February 20 advisory, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week will be the hottest days with the maximum projected temperature. 

"This week, high average daytime temperatures above 30°C expected in various counties: Turkana, Samburu, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Makueni, Kitui, Machakos, Nairobi, Kiambu, Embu, Laikipia, Baringo," read part of the advisory.

A poster of a heat wave advisory
A poster of a heat wave advisory.