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LAHROE: Tarbela Dam has witnessed a record dead level for 80 days this year, said sources from Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

They said one major reason behind the phenomenon was 30 percent less snowfall this year compared with the corresponding year. Filling up of Tarbela Dam depends on snow melting against Mangla Dam which is filled by rainwater.

It may be noted that there was no inflow in rivers at the time of the cultivation of crops due to cloudy weather in hilly areas. It is only for the last 10 days that there were no clouds there and temperatures could not attain the intensity necessary for snow melting. A slow inflow of water in rivers has badly affected cultivation of cotton crop this year while water scarcity has engulfed Cholistan in Punjab and the province of Balochistan and Sindh. Also, deaths of livestock have been reported from many areas due to a drought like situation.

The sources said heat wave has slightly hit Pakistan this year, which is a rare phenomenon. Pakistan has witnessed it after a gap of many years, resultantly there was no rain in the country after the month of February. Accordingly, they said, the heat record has broken previous trends at some 15 locations in the country. Meanwhile, the moisture level in the air has dropped drastically due to hot weather that led to health issues in the country.

However, the Met office sources have not agreed with the impression that it was due to climate change, saying that the phenomenon of climate change could only be declared on the basis of a comparison of past 30 years. The present heat wave is more of a weather pattern or weather cycle, which appears after a gap of 10 to 15 years regularly. The climate change, on the other hand, is a constant phenomenon, which moves slowly.

Director PMD Shahid Abbas confirmed the situation, saying that temperature would start rising again by Thursday. However, he added in the same breath that it would keep hovering in the range of 42 degree Celsius against 46C earlier. Meanwhile, he said, another spell of westerly waves is likely to hit the country by 21st May that would drop the mercury to 39C. Meanwhile, dams are likely to fill up now and water situation would improve in rivers.

He said there would be another spell of westerly waves on 30th May that may bring rain in the country, followed by a few more rainy spells in the month of June and finally start of monsoon season by early July. He said the moisture level would also increase by the 2nd week of June that would lead to start of pre-monsoon season in the country. However, he made it clear that there would be no flood like situation in the country during the upcoming monsoon season.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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