PESHAWAR: Residents of Peshawar received a surprise at around tea time on Wednesday afternoon when egg-sized hailstones started falling from the sky.
Rains scattered over parts of the city, however, brought a pleasant change to the weather.
“The rain spell was expected and will continue for a few days,” Pakistan Meteorological Office told The Express Tribune. “Rain-thunderstorms are expected at isolated places in Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu Malakand division, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).”
The Met Office added that Wednesday’s rain was the last leg of the prevailing weather system with the ongoing thunderstorms and hailstorms expected to continue for the next few days. On Wednesday, Peshawar received around three millimetres of rain with 24 km/h of gusty winds recorded in the district.
For a brief period on Wednesday afternoon, hailstones rained in Hayatabad, Ring Road area, Warsak Road area as well as in parts of Charsadda and Khyber Agency.
Locals compared the icy balls to marbles and eggs rolling on the ground. Most though termed the hail – which was not part of the forecast – as ‘the result of climate change’.
Fortunately, no loss of public property or life was reported.
“There was no news of any loss reported from any part of the city,” said Bilal Ahmad Faizi, a spokesperson for the Rescue 1122.
Experts consider anomalous weather events such as hailstones in Peshawar to be part of climate change – erratic changes in the climate of the province.
“We are facing very negative impacts of climate change,” said Afsar Khan, the deputy director of the K-P Climate Change Cell.
“Abnormal climate is the climate change, our climate is now unpredictable,” he added.
“Meteorological experts are forecasting one thing but something else is happening on the ground altogether, this shows how our climate has become unpredictable.”
Afsar explained that Peshawar was not alone in witnessing such anomalous weather incidents, rather this was part of a global phenomenon for which the province is prepare preparing itself – especially after passing a provincial policy on climate change recently.
“Now, the rain pattern has changed. For the last couple of years, it has changed so erratically that it may have very negative impacts on agriculture and overall economy of the province,” he warned.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2017.