Weather and Climate

Mpala Research Centre sits in the heart of Laikipia County in what is known as the Ewaso Nyiro ecosystem. The environment is semi-arid, with plants and wildlife highly adapted to long spans of dry weather and periodic rains.

Mpala has been collecting data on local weather for nearly 60 years. Weather features measured include rainfall, air temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, and storm activity. These data are automatically collected at one main weather station on the Mpala Research Centre campus, and are manually collected from two peripheral weather stations located at the northern region of Mpala and the Ranch House. This data is vital in informing the many studies conducted at Mpala and in understanding more broadly how a changing climate impacts the short term and long term weather patterns of Northern Kenya.

Weather Data
Summary data for precipitation and temperature from 1998-2019 can be obtained upon request using the Data Access Form.

Weather Forecasts
Weather forecasts for Mpala are available through Fallingrain.

Rainfall over Laikipia, 1960-2002
Rainfall over Laikipia, 1960-2002

Rainfall Maps
The visual rainfall datasets are collected from 70 gauges around the Laikipia basin measuring total daily rainfall from 1960-2002. Maps were created using the long-term averages of the daily gauge data and spatial interpolation techniques using ArcGIS.

Click on the maps to display or download from the links:

Rainfall over Laikipia 1960-2002 map (231 downloads)
Mean rain total Jan-Feb 1960-2002 map (199 downloads)
Mean rain total Mar-May 1960-2002 map (194 downloads)
Mean rain total Jun-Sep 1960-2002 map (190 downloads)
Mean rain total Oct-Dec 1960-2002 map (202 downloads)

Temperature Maps
The visual temperature datasets are collected from 3-14 stations around the Laikipia basin measuring daily temperature values from 1988-2002. Maps were created using the long-term averages of the daily gauge data and spatial interpolation techniques using ArcGIS. Mean and +/-1 s.d. are plotted.

Click on the maps to display or download from the links:

Daily Temp Jan-Feb 1960-2002 map (197 downloads)
Daily Temp Mar-May 1960-2002 map (190 downloads)
Daily Temp Jun-Sep 1960-2002 map (186 downloads)
Daily Temp Oct-Dec 1960-2002 map (188 downloads)

Storm Maps
The visual storm depth and arrival datasets are collected from 3-14 stations around the Laikipia basin measuring daily storm values from 1988-2002. Maps were created using the long-term averages of the daily gauge data and spatial interpolation techniques using ArcGIS. Mean and +/-1 s.d. are plotted.

Storm depth maps

Avg. storm depth Jan-Feb 1988-2002 map (173 downloads)
Avg. storm depth Mar-May 1988-2002 map (180 downloads)
Avg. storm depth Jun-Sep 1988-2002 map (188 downloads)
Avg. storm depth Oct-Dec 1988-2002 map (194 downloads)

Storm arrival maps

Avg. storm arrival Jan-Feb-1988 2002 map (179 downloads)
Avg. storm arrival Mar-May 1988-2002 map (185 downloads)
Avg. storm arrival June-Sep 1988-2002 map (175 downloads)
Avg. storm arrival Oct-Dec 1988-2002 map (184 downloads)