Turbat reels under record heatwave

Updated 29 May 2017

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LAHORE: Vast areas of Punjab, Sindh and Balochis­tan reeled under the severe heatwave that intensified on Sunday, the first day of Ramazan, creating a record for the highest-ever temperature in Turbat.

A shallow westerly wave is, nevertheless, likely to bring some rain over scattered places of upper parts of the country and some north-eastern cities in Punjab, including Lahore, in the next 24 hours.

It drizzled in Mianwali and Sargodha at the time of Iftar to the relief of heat-stricken people.

A dust storm hit many central and north-eastern Punjab cities, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Mian­wali and Sargodha at the night, blowing away intense heat that had continued to exist even after sunset.

Turbat experienced a blistering 53.5 degrees Celsius maximum temperature, a new record.

The previous highest temperature of Balochistan’s remote city was 52 degrees Celsius recorded on May 30, 2009.

For those living in Punjab cities like Lahore, surviving in Turbat-like 53.5 degrees C temperature seemed unbelievable. For them, temperatures around 40 were enough to test their endurance.

The Met department said that the heatwave persisting over the past few days intensified and centred over Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab on Sunday, making it one of the hottest days of the current summer.

The maximum temperature in Sibbi was recorded at 50 degrees C, Jacobabad and Dadu 49, Larkana 48 and Nokkundi, Dalbandin, Sakrand and Sukkur 47.

Karachi’s maximum temperature was recorded at 36 degrees C, but the heat index was much more intense in the open.

In Punjab, Bhakkar recorded 47 degrees C maximum temperature, Bahawalnagar and Multan 45, Bahawalpur 43, Faisalabad 41 and Lahore and Chakwal 40.

Except for Peshawar, the weather remained relatively better in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and mild in upper parts of the country, including the summer resorts of Murree, Nathiagali, Swat, Kaghan and Naran.

The Met department said the dry continental air prevailing over most parts of the country was helping the blazing sun to scorch the plains in the country.

However, a shallow westerly wave over upper parts of the country will reduce the impact of the heatwave at a few places in Hazara, Rawalpindi, Sargodha and Lahore divisions and Azad Kashmir by producing rain there on Monday.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2017