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December receives rain after five years

December 15, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Dec 14: The upper parts of the country, including Rawalpindi and Islamabad, received heavy rainfall in the middle of December after almost five years.

Besides, the resort town of Murree also received heavy snowfall. For the last five years, these precipitations had been delayed to January with weather experts attributing the phenomenon to climate change.

The Met Office described the three-foot snowfall in the Galiat hills, two feet in Murree and the over 35mm rainfall in the federal capital  as a return to the ‘old glory’ of the region.

“This year, there is no presence of El Nino or the La Nina and the weather system of Islamabad is back to normal,” said Dr Mohammad Hanif, a director at Pakistan Metrological Department.

“The continuity of rains has proved that this system was not just a shallow pattern. And we expect 2-3 more spells in December,” he added.

Traditionally, it used to rain from the second week of December but the precipitation timings began to get disturbed almost a decade back and for the last 4-5 years December had been dry, he said.

The El-Nino and La Nina patterns develop at the eastern Pacific Ocean but it disturbs the climatic conditions globally.

Under the El-Nino system, the temperature of the sea increases leading to development of more clouds and brining more rains even flooding in some parts of the world.

Whereas under the La-Nina system, many parts of the world are devoid of usual rains as Pacific Ocean temperature drops below normal.

The Met Office official said the winter would be wet and cold as it was the usual occurrence in the region of northern Punjab and KP.

The rains and snowfall also brought an unusual temperature setup in Murree where the mercury remained constant at -3 degrees centigrade during the past 24 hours.

“This usually develops under dense clouds as the infra-red rays of the previous day do not get out due to the presence of clouds, making the air temperature warm. The fresh sunrays cannot enter the lower atmosphere as the clouds block them,” said Mr Hanif.