KARACHI: Most parts of the province remained in the grip of intensely hot weather conditions on Wednesday with Karachi experiencing its hottest day of the year at 46 degrees Celsius whereas the mercury rose to 48 degrees Celsius in the districts of Sukkur, Dadu, Mirpurkhas, Larkana and Jacobabad.
Fortunately, however, there were no media reports of any heatwave related deaths.
The temperature, according to the meteorological department, is likely to drop in Karachi on Friday onwards unlike in the rest of the province.
The highest temperature was recorded in Larkana district (48.5 degrees Celsius) followed by Padidan, part of Larkana district (47), Dadu (48.1), Jacobabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur (all three districts had 48), Chhor and Mithi in Tharparkar district (46 and 44.5 respectively), Thatta (46) and Hyderabad (43.5).
City’s temperature is likely to drop on Friday
The maximum and minimum temperatures recorded in Karachi were 29.5 and 46. The city is predicted to have temperature ranging between 40 and 42 degrees Celsius.
The wind is likely to blow from northwest to north during the period.
According to the information available on the met department website, the maximum temperature (47.8) recorded in Karachi in the month of May was on May 9, 1938.
Relief for Karachi
While the rest of the province is expected to have hot to very hot weather in coming days, met officials have stated that coastal winds will help break the heat spell the city has been experiencing for the past few days, providing the much-needed relief residents want in the month of Ramazan.
The sea breeze, according to the department, will restore gradually from Friday along the coastal belt bringing Karachi temperature to normal range of 35-37°C during next week.
“Today (Wednesday) was Karachi’s hottest day of this year,” said Shahid Abbas, regional director of the met department in Karachi, adding that it was the peak hot day.
Explaining the factors contributing to hot weather conditions in the city, he said: “First, there was light/calm wind, which supports rise in temperature. The moisture content level was 4 to 6pc that also contributes to dry, hot weather. In addition, the atmosphere was laden with dust particles, which trap heat and shoot up temperature.”
According to him, these factors made the day different and created intensely hot conditions. People who protected themselves from the hot wind and remained indoors felt comfort even without using their air-conditioners.
He predicted that temperature in the city would normalise in coming days, though upper areas of the country would experience warm weather as well as Multan to Nawabshah belt.
“The time between mid May to mid June has been the warmest period in Pakistan over 50 years. Presently, there is no forecast for a weather system this year that could provide some relief,” he noted, adding that weather patterns were changing and weather becoming intense.
Dr Seemin Jamali, the executive director of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, also overseeing its emergency section, said though a few people came with symptoms of heat exhaustion, there was no serious case related to heatwave.
“There has been no serious case so far (which can be attributed to the current heat spell). A few people came post-Iftari with complaints of fever and loose motions, but that is a normal occurrence in Ramazan,” she said, adding that there had been no death exclusively due to heatstroke.
Dr Jamali advised people to continue with the preventive steps they had taken.
“This time is different because people are generally more aware and practically taking steps to protect themselves. I think the media needs appreciation for playing a positive role in this regard. It’s also good that schools have been closed down in this season,” she said.
Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2018