Climate

Citation:
Obiero JPO, Onyando JO. "Climate.". In: KENYA : A NATURAL OUTLOOK GEO ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND HAZARDS. Netherlands: ELSEVIER; 2013.

1.1 Introduction
A thorough understanding of climate characteristics and variation is important in agriculture including pastoralism, which plays a dominant role in the Kenyan economy. The main factors that control climate include latitude, altitude,
characteristics of prevailing winds, distance from the sea or any form of sizeable water body and topography. Topography becomes significant especially when the area under study has diversity of relief, which can form the
barrier to prevailing winds. Vegetal cover is also important but normally is a result of the previously mentioned factors. The pressure belts are also significant in controlling climate as the belts shift with the movement of the overhead sun resulting into seasons. The greatest insolation directly usually below the overhead sun creates a region of lowest pressure. The low pressure is also known as the heat trough or equatorial trough or the intertropical convergence zone. It is a point of convergence of air masses. An air mass is a large body of air covering hundreds of kilometres and that has a definite source region and marked uniformity in temperature or humidity throughout its entire length and width. As a body of air moves, it will be known by its source region, and as it moves across a section of the country, it transports and introduces its own particular climatic characteristics throughout the country over which it passes. Convergence of air masses normally results into an upward movement of air over the area of low pressure, thereby causing cooling, condensation and precipitation.
Air masses, also referred to as air streams, are therefore important as carriers of moisture.

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