‘Snowflakes’ in Nyahururu were hail stones, says expert
By Elizabeth Mwai and
Experts have clarified that
the snow-like substance that fell in Gikingi
Village in Nyahururu on
Tuesday was a hailstorm.
On Wednesday, the Kenya
Meteorological Department director Joseph Mukabana said the substance was not
snow as earlier thought.
He said its occurrence
resulted from warm and moist incursion of Congo
air mass pumped into relatively cool southeasterly winds from the Indian Ocean.
"The large temperature
difference resulted in rapid humidification of air, and strong updrafts pushing
mixed air up to 12 to 15km and 69 degrees Celsius," Mukabana said.
Speaking at the
Meteorological headquarters, he said the cumulonimbus cloud that formed became
a ‘Super Cell or Mesoscale Convective Complex (MCC), which dissipates and
regenerates itself as it moves in a given direction and carries hailstones.
The super cell started
forming at 1pm in the Western side of Mount Kenya,
above the Aberdare ranges and rapidly advected westwards towards Nyandarua. The
hailstorms (Super cell) dissipated at 4pm.
However, due to the cold
temperatures in the area the hailstorm did not melt, but joined together to
form the expansive sheets or snowflakes occupying an area estimated at 30
Meanwhile, Kenyans should
expect increased food production and adequate electricity generation as experts
forecast sufficient rains.
The climate outlook report
released on Wednesday showed the short rains were expected in a fortnight.
It indicated enhanced
rainfall supply in most parts of the country, except North Eastern.
"Farmers are therefore
advised to work with the Agriculture ministry to take advantage of the expected
rainfall performance to maximise crop production," Mukabana said.
Metropolitan Development Minister Mutula Kilonzo has appealed to the Government
and humanitarian agencies to send relief food supplies to Ukambani to avert
hunger related deaths.