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Spring rain comes after 14 years

March 14, 2013

ISLAMABAD, March 13:  For youngsters, spring rain is an unusual phenomenon as the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Wednesday received their first rainfall of this season after 14 years.

As a result the mercury fell to 20 degrees Celsius in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and nine degrees C in Murree, which were 27 degrees and 15 degrees respectively on Tuesday. The night time temperature will also drop.

“It was a feeling of summer on Tuesday night but Wednesday morning was a bit cool,” said Mohammad Ali, a student.

As the spring rain arrived after more than a decade in the region many youngsters do not know that traditionally March used to be cool.

“It is good to see the old spring season is back,” said Mrs Ali, mother of Mohammad Ali.

Contrary to the spring spell last week, which fizzled out soon after entering the country from the North West, the current westerly wave has not only brought precipitation in almost all parts of the country, the Met office has forecast more rains on Thursday.

“But the spring spells are soft and short therefore it is likely to end by late afternoon or Thursday evening,” said Dr Mohammad Hanif, director at Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD).

The Met office said that the westerly wave was affecting upper and central parts of the country and likely to persist during next 24 to 36 hours.

The satellite imagery at the met office website shows a strong cloud formation descending directly from the North from southern Siberia into Pakistan.

The heavy clouds are visible over Northern Balochistan, Northern Sindh most of Punjab almost all areas of the upper parts of the country.

“We expect another spring spell in the last week of March, which is a healthy sign for the region and the return of native climatic conditions,” Dr Hanif added.

On Wednesday, Khuzdar received 42mm rain, Risalpur 33mm,  Dir 31mm, Kalam & Malamjaba 20mm, Saidu Sharif 17mm, Muzaffarabad 16mm, D.I. Khan & Lower Dir 15mm, Pattan 14mm, Mianwali 13mm, Bhakkar 11mm, Murre 10mm, Kakul & Garidupatta 8mm, Joharabad, Peshawar & Chitral 8mm, Drosh 7mm, Parachinar 6mm Rawalpindi 5mm and Islamabad 3mm.

Because of changing climatic conditions, pollen count recorded massive surge at 12,784 cubic meter on March 13, as compared to zero on the same day last year.

The pollen count in 2013 has been high due to heavy rain in February this year, which activated the growth of flora and fauna and prolonged the spring season.

The maximum pollen count last year was around 35,000 cubic metre and it is likely to cross the 40,000 mark this year in the coming two weeks.

But another rain spell in the last week of March will shorten the duration of pollen swell.