ISLAMABAD: The country will continue to experience the impact of climate change this year as the mercury is expected to rise across Pakistan in the next 10-15 days.
Pakistan Meteorological Department chief Dr Ghulam Rasul told The Express Tribune that the temperature is likely to touch 30˚C by mid-March.
“It is expected that the mercury level will touch 30˚C by mid of March and in later part of the month it is likely that it’ll cross over 30˚C in major parts of the country including Islamabad.”
“Though people will think that summer has already started but it’ll just be the peak of the spring season in the country which will last for a month or so,” he said.
However, two to three short spells of showers are also expected next month, he said.
“With the onset of spring season pollen season is also going to start soon and this year it is expected that there will be high concentration of pollens in the air mainly due to clear skies,” Dr Rasul added.
He said that in April which is the wheat harvesting season it is expected that the temperature in Southern parts of Sindh may touch 40˚C.
Talking about the water availability in the country, he said that it is expected that by April or May there will be enough water in the rivers to cater to the need of the population.
“This year, Pakistan has received heavy snowfall in northern areas therefore rapid snow melting is expected to start in April which will increase water inflow in major water reservoirs of the country to mitigate water shortage for April and May,” he said.
He said that the impact of climate change in Pakistan was very much visible after August last year.
“In September which was the end of monsoon season Pakistan did not receive enough rainfall and till December it faced a dry spell which further worsen water crisis in the country,” he said.
Later, winter season started late in January this year and prevailed for one-and-a-half-month under the influence of climate change, he said.
“However one positive thing that happened in winter this year was that Pakistan received heavy snowfall,” he said.
According to the Met office between December, 1, 2016 till date rainfall has remained close to normal across the country.
For the past 24 days, rainfall accumulation was recorded moderately below normal in the country. In January 2017 rainfall over country remained exceptionally above normal however in December 2016 the country faced deficient rainfall.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2017.