ISLAMABAD: The monsoon season is expected to begin during the last week of this month while pre-monsoon rains are likely to start in mid-June, the Meteorological Department said on Friday.

Central Punjab and southern parts of the country are likely to receive above-average rainfall this year. Day-time temperatures are likely to remain above normal across the country during early stages of the monsoon season, but are forecast to come down significantly with the onset of heavy rains.

According to the PMD, the country received below-normal rains during April, especially in the drought-prone areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan recorded light to moderate rainfall last month.

The PMD said in its `drought bulletin’ that “moderate to severe” drought prevails in Balochistan’s Nokkundi, Taftan and Dalbandin regions. Conditions resembling a “mild drought” have persisted in the province’s Nushki, Mashkhel, Kharan, Quetta and Zhob regions over the past few months.

Similar conditions prevail in Tharparkar, Badin, Thatta and Sujawal districts of Sindh, according to PMD.

South-western Balochistan has been facing “mild to moderate drought” conditions for the past few weeks.

Disaster management agencies have thrashed out plans for relief operations in the affected areas.

Rain-fed regions of Punjab are under stress due to a relentless heatwave, the Met Department added.

It advised all stakeholders to monitor the water availability situation in those rain-fed areas of Balochistan which received little or no rain last year and plan disaster relief activities accordingly.

Rabi crops

Harvesting of Rabi crops, especially wheat, was in full swing, the PMD said.

The growth of oilseed crop was satisfactory and it was at the flowering and pod stage. No serious pest or insect attack has occurred so far.

The sowing of Kharif crops has started in some parts of the country and harvesting and crushing of sugarcane crop was in full swing.

The PMD advised farmers in the northern and central parts of the country to complete the harvesting process “as early as possible” to save their crops from rains and strong winds expected later this month.

The department advised farmers in the country’s southern regions to make arrangements for irrigating their fields for Kharif crops as no significant rains were likely in those areas.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2022

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