KARACHI: Pakistan received less than average rains in January and February, with the first month of this year becoming the 17th driest month since 1961, the Met Office said on Wednesday.

The Met Office said it had not recorded any significant rainfall in February across the country while the count for January didn’t sound promising.

“National rainfall for the month of January 2021 was 59 per cent below normal,” said the Met Office data titled, “Pakistan Winter 2021 Rainfall Update”.

“January 2021 was the 17th driest month since 1961. AJ&K (0pc), GB (1pc) & Punjab (6pc) recorded close to normal rain. Balochistan (-100pc), KP (-73pc) and Sindh (-100pc) observed extremely deficient rainfall. January 2021 ranked as the 1st driest month together with 2018 for Balochistan while for Sindh it ranked as 1st lowest along with 14 other years.”

Country received below average rains

Sardar Sarfaraz at the Met Office called the trend unusual but said there was still one month — March — left when rain was also counted under winter rainfall and figures of the third month of the year could further helped understand the trend.

“There was overall declining trend in terms of rain count across the country during winter,” he said. “But it would be too early to call it an impact of climate change. One cannot set the precedent on data or model of just one year. We analyse the trend comparing the figures of last thirty years. So this year’s data also shows the comparison between this year’s winter rains and the downpour of last 30 years during these months,” Mr Sarfaraz said.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2021

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