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Rain brings respite from suffocating heat

July 25, 2012

ISLAMABAD, July 25: Having made their presence felt since midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday in the twin cities, the clouds finally brought precipitation in the morning and with it came respite from the sizzling heat.

Though the light showers made weather pleasant, they failed to make a considerable impact on the water levels of three main reservoirs in and around the twin cities.

The first rain since the start of ‘Sawan’ – the month of heavy rainfall as per the local calendar – starting at 6am brought relief for the residents who had been braving very hot and humid atmosphere during the past few days.

“After so many days we had cool winds at night and my family slept on the roof,” said Mohammad Akmal, a resident of Rawalpindi, adding that they all packed things and ran downstairs when it poured in the morning to their utter surprise.  However, the rains this year have been far below the average downpour in monsoon and the Met Office has said that rainfall ranged between 8 and 22 millimetres (mm) in different parts of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

“This is not the typical monsoon rainfall as the monsoon rains spread over a vast area and are accompanied by thunder and lightening,” an official at the Met Office said adding, “We do not see any such system developing in near future too.”

Even the satellite imagery at its website shows almost all the areas of north western India and Pakistan totally devoid of clouds, whereas there is seen a heavy presence of clouds over central and eastern India moving in from both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

The rain falling on Wednesday morning was so less that it made a negligible impact on the water level at Khanpur, Simly and Rawal dams.

“There has not been any sizeable increase in the water level even after today’s rain,” said an official of the Punjab Irrigation Department posted at Rawal Dam.

The current water level in the dam stood at 1,731 feet mark compared to its dead level which was 1,708 feet but there was still a long way to go as the maximum level to which water could be filled in the reservoir was around 1,750 feet.

The level slightly inched up at Khanpur Dam situated in district Haripur of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Water level increased by six inches in the dam to reach 1,917 feet just seven feet above its dead level while its maximum level being 1,982 feet.

“We need a couple of good rain spells of more than 50 mm to reach the upper storage limit,” said an official posted at the dam.

However, compared to these two reservoirs, the water inflow to the Simly Dam had been slightly higher increasing its level by eight inches to around 2,245 feet whereas its dead level being 2,233 feet. Like officials at the other dams, the CDA officials posted here expressed hope that more rains in the catchment areas would significantly improve the level of water in the coming few days.

Rainfall recoded in other cities was: Muzaffarabad 43 mm, Pattan 29 mm, Bannu 23 mm, Kohat 10 mm, Kotli 9 mm, Balakot and Rawalakot 7 mm and Murree 5 mm.

The Met Office predicted that apart from isolated and localised showers, mainly hot and humid weather would prevail across the country.