Karachi experiences hottest March day on record

Published March 31, 2022
A worker fixes an air cooler at his shop along the I.J.P Road, Islamabad as their demand increased amid rising temperatures across the country.—Online
A worker fixes an air cooler at his shop along the I.J.P Road, Islamabad as their demand increased amid rising temperatures across the country.—Online

KARACHI/RAWALPINDI: As the Met Office forecast on Wednesday a spell of hot and dry weather in the country that would begin on Friday and last for 10 days, its largest city recorded its highest temperature for the month of March, with the mercury rising to 42.5 degrees Celsius.

Earlier, the highest-ever temperature experienced in the city in the month was 42.2 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on March 20, 2010, according to the Met department that has weather data dating back to 1931.

According to the department, hot and dry weather conditions in Karachi are likely to continue for the next two days and the maximum temperature may range between 39 degrees Celsius and 41 degrees till Friday.

Met Office says hot and dry weather to hit country from Friday onwards

“These weather conditions are induced by high pressure prevailing over Afghanistan as well as western and southern parts of Pakistan due to which most areas are seeing a rise in temperature.

“This is particularly unusual for central Punjab where spring season has been reduced to one or two weeks,” explained chief meteorologist Dr Sardar Sarfaraz.

On Wednesday, he pointed out, the temperature dropped two degrees in an hour from 42 degrees Celsius at 2pm to 40 degrees at 3pm when the wind direction changed from northwest to southwest.

Only Mithi in Sindh reported a temperature (43 degrees Celsius) higher than Karachi on Wednesday. The highest temperature recorded in Sindh was 44 degrees in Chhor.

According to Dr Sarfaraz, hot weather conditions are described as a “heatwave” when the temperature remains five degrees above the average temperature of a particular month for five consecutive days. Karachi’s average temperature for March is 32.6 degrees.

Upcoming hot spell

The Met Office predicted that from Friday onwards the temperature during daytime would likely remain unusually high in most parts of the country.

The day temperatures are likely to remain 9-11 degrees Celsius above normal in Sindh, South Punjab and Southern/Central parts of Balochistan in the coming days, according to the office.

Similarly, daytime temperatures are likely to remain 8-10 degrees above normal in upper Punjab, Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2022

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