Welcome to Kenya! Windstorm hits part of Juja, Kenya causing power outage

Innumerable households and premises were plunged into darkness on Tuesday night after strong winds and unexpected dust storms hit various parts of the country.

The rare occurrence also brought traffic to a standstill on several major roads in Nairobi due to poor visibility. The principal at Kenya Meteorological Department David Koros said they were anticipating the change of weather especially parts of Eastern, Rift Valley, Central Kenya and Nairobi and that it was brought by buildup of high temperatures.

“What some parts of the country experienced was what we call a downburst which is a strong ground-level wind system that emanates from a point source above and blows radially, that is, in straight lines in all directions from the point of contact at ground level and that is what we have seen,” said Mr Koros.

Kenya Meteorological Department deputy director Samwel Mwangi described the strong winds and sandstorms as a precursor of the onset of short rains expected this month and might be experienced for a couple of days before it subsides, giving way to actual rains to come in in full force.

He explained that the wind is as a result of unstable air, which is likely to give showers and possibly thunderstorm over a few places, which has been blowing through in places where it has generally been dry and hot.

“We are having a bit of stormy weather all over. It is coming in with a bit of rains here and there. There is strong winds and where it has not rained for a while, we have seen dust being carried around by the strong winds. It is the precursor of the short rains that could be starting anytime this month so this could be sign that the rains are almost setting in,” added Mr Mwangi on Tuesday.

The deputy director urged Kenyans to take precautions as the strong winds is known for blowing away things like roofs, billboards and even rocks.

“Things being blown away could fall on people and that presents danger. For motorists, visibility could be an issue as the dust being blown could interfere with how far one can be able to see,” he said.

In its latest weather forecast, weatherman warned that the Eastern half of the country would experience strong winds of more than 25 knots (12.5m/s) with other parts of the country including Rift Valley highlands, Lake Victoria basin and Coast region to experience rains.

In Nairobi, several billboards were torn apart by the strong winds with reports of trees falling over in Lavington, Syokimau, Githurai, Jogoo Road, the Central Business District and Parklands area.

Power outages were reported across several parts of the Kenyan capital, following the heavy winds and there was also poor visibility as well as the hazards posed by the flying objects as a result of the storm.
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