Although much of Pakistan was already under severe heat wave conditions during the month of May, the temperatures further intensified over the weekend. However, national meteorologists say a new weather system will set in this week, bringing relief to the entire country.
Hot and dry continental air was prevailing across much of Pakistan, setting new maximum temperature records in some cities in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
The temperature in Punjab's Noorpurthal and Bhakkar rose up to 52 °C (125.6 °F), while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Dera Ismail Khan and Sibbi recorded 51 °C (123.8 °F). Sargodha and Risalpur registered 50 °C (122 °F), Mianwali and Dera Ghazi Khan 49 °C (120.2 °F). Lahore's maximum temperature was 46 °C (114.8 °F) with hot winds continuing to blow throughout Sunday. The maximum temperature in Peshawar was 48 °C (118.4 °F), Islamabad 45 °C (113 °F), while Karachi was the coolest at 37 °C (98.6 °F) due to a change in the direction of wind, according to Pakistan's Meteorological Department.
The temperatures also rose in the country's hilly areas, accelerating snow and glacier melt, local media reported.
On Sunday, May 28, the city of Turbat in Balochistan registered 53.5 °C (128.3 °F) which is the highest recorded temperature in Pakistan’s history, according to The Express Tribune. The temperature equaled the one measured on May 27, 2010 in Mohenjo Daro which then broke a 12-year record – 53 °C (127.4 °F) in Larkana on May 31, 1998.
According to a senior meteorologist at the Met Department, the previous highest temperature recorded in Turbat was 52 °C (125.6 °F) on May 30, 2009. He said the temperature in Turbat kept fluctuating between 50 °C and 52 °C (125.6 and 125.6 °F) over the past few days, but peaked on Sunday.
The heat wave is also setting new records in India, with Banda in Uttar Pradesh recording the highest maximum temperature of 48 °C (118.4 °F). At 45.1 °C (113.2 °F), Jammu city also recorded its highest this season, 6 °C (10.8 °F) above normal.
Hot and dry weather is expected to continue in many parts of the country over the next few days. Very hot weather conditions are expected over plain areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and upper Sindh.
However, people living in some upper and central parts of the country should expect rain/dust-thunderstorm associated with gusty winds at scattered places of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir from Tuesday to Friday with breaks. The same is expected at scattered places of Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Lahore and Faisalabad divisions and Islamabad from Tuesday to Friday, and at isolated places of Quetta, Zhob, DG Khan, Multan and Sahiwal divisions on Wednesday and Thursday.
PMD spokesperson said that current heat wave conditions will subside due to this weather system all over the country. A few hailstorm events may occur in sub-mountainous areas of Punjab, Hazara division and Kashmir this week.
Featured image: Pakistan by Fasih Ahmed