ISLAMABAD: Severe heatwaves will sweep most parts of the country over the next 10 days, the Meteorological Depart­ment warned on Thursday, forecasting dust storms, thunderstorms, and heavy rains in the country’s northern areas.

The presence of high pressure in the upper atmosphere will result in heatwave conditions in most parts of the country, especially Punjab and Sindh from May 21 and a severe heatwave from May 23 to 27, the advisory warned.

Daytime temperatures are “likely to remain 4 to 6 degrees centigrade above normal” in Sindh and Punjab from May 21 to 23 and six to 8°C from May 23 to 27.

In Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan, day temperatures are likely to remain four to 6°C above normal from May 21 to 27.

The advisory wanted authorities to remain alert and take necessary measures to deal with the heatwave spell.

Dr Muhammad Afzaal, the director of Research and Development at the PMD in Islamabad, defined heatwave as temperatures 5°C above the normal limit for three or more days.

Rain, thunderstorms

The Met office advisory added that a shallow westerly wave was likely to affect upper parts of the country on May 16 during evening and night.

Under the influence of this weather system, dust storm and thunderstorm with isolated rain were expected in Quetta, Zhob, Ziarat, Sherani, Barkhan, Kalat, Khuzdar, Qila Abdullah, Qila Saifullah, Kharan and Mastung from May 16 to 19.

In KP, similar weather is expected in Chitral, Dir, Swat, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Malakand, Waziristan, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Karak, Khyber, Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Mardan and Kurram from May 16 to 19.

In GB and Azad Kashmir, rain, wind and thunderstorm was expected in Diamer, Astore, Ghizer, Skardu, Hunza, Gilgit, Ghanche, Shigar, Neelum valley, Muzaffar­abad, Rawalakot, Poonch, Hattian, Bagh, Haveli, Sudhanoti, Kotli, Bhimber, Mirpur from May 16 to 19.

In Punjab, rain with dust storm and thunderstorm is likely in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree, Galliyat, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Mandi Bahauddin, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Kasur, Okara, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Khushab, Sargodha and Mianwali from May 16 to 18.

In Sindh, the weather pattern is expected in Sukkur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Larkana and Dadu on May 17 and 18.

The Met Office has warned farmers of possible impacts on crops and advised them to make arrangements. People have been advised to avoid unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight and drink water.

The extreme dry and heatwave conditions may trigger bushfires or forest fires in Punjab, KP and northeast Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2024

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