LAHORE, June 25: A strong monsoon current generating energy sapping mugginess in the plains of the country for the past few days started reaching the mountainous region on Tuesday, making the Pakistan Meteorological Department announce beginning of seasonal rains from June 29.

However, the local Met office reported beginning of monsoon rains in the next 24 hours. It said a strong monsoon current was penetrating deep into Pakistan from India, and rain could start any time in upper parts of the country. It was already overcast in Sialkot.

The Met department has already indicated normal monsoon rains this year that would be extensive in September than in July or August.

It was extremely muggy in Lahore on Tuesday. The maximum 37.5 degrees Celsius temperature and 72 per cent humidity proved too much for people to brave, challenging their endurance level throughout the day and even in the evening.

Reports from plains in the country indicated identical harsh weather conditions for the past few days that are atypical of monsoon season.

Major parts of the country received rains in the middle of June that were heavy at places like Lahore, but the Met department termed them as pre-monsoon activity.

On Tuesday, the department did admit that “weak monsoon currents have started penetrating Kashmir and upper parts of the country”.

As a result, it forecast onset of the monsoon rains in the country from June 29, saying this spell would persist for two to three days.

It said the spell would focus mainly upper parts of the country. It might produce isolated rain/thundershowers in Kashmir, Islamabad, Upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Lahore and Gujranwala divisions) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan divisions) during the next two to three days, while isolated dust-thundershowers were also expected in Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan Bannu, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad divisions and Gilgit-Baltistan.

It said a westerly wave was expected to enter northern parts of the country on Thursday evening. Due to its interaction with monsoon currents, rains/thundershowers with isolated heavy falls were expected in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Malakand, Hazara and Peshawar divisions), Upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Lahore and Gujranwala divisions), Gilgit Baltistan-Kashmir and Islamabad from Thursday (evening) to Sunday.

Meanwhile, in its seasonal forecast, the Met department had a few days ago expected normal or satisfactory rainfall this monsoon.

It had said that the rainfall during July would be below normal. It would gradually increase over central parts of the country during August. There would however be above normal rainfall over the plain monsoonal areas of Punjab and Sindh in September.

It had said that rainfall activity would mainly concentrate over central and southern parts of the country. Therefore, effective water management practices might be adopted to fill the main reservoirs at optimum level.

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