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LAHORE: A change in weather pattern has minimized the chances of rain until the end of March due to rise in temperature and decrease in moisture, said Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) official.

Director Shahid Abbas said the north-westerly cold wind has stopped, adding to the dryness in the air. Meanwhile, he added, the present spell of westerly waves was crossing the country at a higher altitude of 50,000 feet. Both these factors have contributed to the dryness and temperature, which is likely to rise by 8 – 10 degree Celsius ahead.

It may be noted that the temperature was quite normal by the start of the month of March, which has risen abnormally now. It was above normal last year as well during the month of March. However, it is increasing steadily this time. The temperature was 24.5c on the 1st of March, which was recorded at 34C on Tuesday. So Far as the minimum temperature is concerned, it was 11.2C on the 1st of March and it was reached to 18.3C on Tuesday.

In other words, Director PMD said, the temperature has increased both on the maximum and minimum side, which has badly affected the advent of spring season, as a pleasant feel of weather has disappeared with increase in temperatures. There is no moderate feel of weather in the month of March this year. Instead, it was giving a feel of the hot spell normally linked with the month of April.

Accordingly, he said, there is neither rain nor cold wave in the city over the past one week. However, the weather data suggests that some good rains are expected in the month of April, he added. Similarly, he said, the weather in Balochistan, Sindh and South Punjab has become severe. Temperatures are likely to rise by 9 – 10C there against 7 – 8C in the central Punjab. Meanwhile, a similar increase in temperature is in evident in hilly areas.

Shahid said some circles are mixing the present phenomenon with climate change, which is not correct because a similar weather cycles have also been recorded in the past. For example, he said, a spell of heat wave had hit the city of Karachi in 2015 but there was no such spell over the last six years. So far as the city of Lahore is concerned, a maximum temperature of 41C was recorded back in 1892 while a minimum of 3C was recorded back in 1945 on 15th of March, he said.

It may be noted that the moisture level has also reduced to 36% during the day time, which improves to 55 to 60% during the wee hours. According to Shahid, both the crops of wheat and gram would be the victim of the present hot weather, as both the size and weight of grain takes a final shape in between the middle to the end of March. However, a zero expectation of rain on the one hand and scarcity of water in rivers on the other would hit the estimates of per acre yield this year.

Around 65,000 cusecs water is available in rivers at present against a demand of over 100,000 cusecs of these crops. The total inflow at Tarbela has been recorded as 17,600 cusecs, followed 26,674 cusecs at Mangla, 15,803 in Chenab and 4500 cusecs in Kabul Rivers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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