RAWALPINDI: While June is the driest and the hottest month in South Asia, changing weather pattern in Western Himalayas and Central Asia led to the arrival of cold moist westerly winds in the upper parts of the country, including the twin cities.
The unusual rains along with cold winds coming from the west and northwest dropped the mercury level to 17 degrees Celsius in Islamabad – whereas the maximum temperature too remained close at 23 degrees due to day long cloud cover over Islamabad on Thursday.
However, it was not the lowest temperature for the month of June as the mercury had dropped to 15 degrees around two decades back in federal capital.
“It is not normal that the westerly waves have affected the country in May and June, usually, less rains occur in May and June in this region but this year mostly westerly waves are affecting the region instead of going to the extreme north,” said an official of Met Office.
It is expected that monsoon rains will be normal or below normal, says official
One of the reasons for westerly rain was unusual pattern in northern Caspian Sea and the Southern Siberia, as clouds are visible between upper parts of Pakistan and those regions at then satellite imagery posted at the website of met office.
At the same time, there were no winds from the east as the pre-monsoon and monsoon winds have yet to arrive over central and northwestern India.
The pre-monsoon winds arrive in Pakistan from the east in the last week of June bringing rainfall, followed by heavy downpour of monsoon season.
The Met Office has predicted that climate indicators - El Niño Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole - were currently in a neutral state, and they are expected to shift towards the positive phase in June.
According to June’s seasonal outlook by Met Office, the current atmospheric conditions in the region favoured convective rainfall, dust storms, thunderstorms and occasional hailstorms, posing a risk of damage to crops, buildings and infrastructure.
It stated that above-normal rainfall and high temperatures in northern Pakistan can increase water availability in rivers and reservoirs, benefiting irrigation and power generation.
However, it asked farmers to monitor rainfall patterns and adjust irrigation practices to maintain optimal soil moisture levels for crops.
Meanwhile, varying from light to heavy the rain lashed the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, inundating low-lying areas. The Met Office predicted dry weather for the next 48 hours.
People were happy to see the pleasant weather as temperature dropped from 33 degrees centigrade to 23 degrees. The residents of low-lying areas feared water accumulation during the rain.
Leh Nullah rose to 10 feet at Kattarian Bridge and seven feet at Gowalmandi Bridge. The rain forced the local administration to alert the civic agencies as water accumulated in and around Leh Nullah and low-lying areas.
The Met Office recorded 57 millimetres of rain at Golra, 52mm at Zero Point, 44mm at the airport and 42mm at Saidpur in Islamabad; 41mm at Shamsabad, 34mm at Chaklala and 44mm at Kutchery in Rawalpindi.
Dhoke Juma, Faizabad, Arya Mohallah, Nadeem Colony, Javed Colony, Muslim Colony, Dhoke Ratta, Ganjmandi, Jamia Masjid Road, Bani Chowk, Sadiqabad, Satellite Town, Commercial Market, College Road, Bohar Bazaar, Naya Mohallah, Iqbal Road, Raja Bazaar, Kohati Bazaar, Mochi Bazaar, Mohanpura, Nanakpura, Arjan Nagar, Amarpura, Service Road along Murree Road, Kyahaban-i-Sir Syed and Rawal Road were inundated with knee-deep water.
Wasa Managing Director Mohammad Tanveer visited the city to inspect work to drain out rainwater from roads and streets.
He said all officials were called to deal with any emergency and to drain out water accumulated on roads adjacent to Leh Nullah. He said all main roads were cleared within an hour afterrain.
Five flood response units will be deployed at Liaquat Bagh, Moti Mahal, Commercial Market, Bagh Sardaran and Khayaban-i- Sir Syed with heavy machinery, he added.
Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2023