Pakistan braces for early July monsoon with 'above-normal' rains predicted

PMD predicts rains driven by medium-level pressure system forming over the Arabian Sea by around June 30

News Desk June 19, 2024
People cross a bridge amid flood waters, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Puran Dhoro, Badin, Pakistan August 30, 2022. REUTERS

As Pakistan braces for the 2024 monsoon season, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has unofficially announced its likely commencement on June 19 with 'above-normal' rains predicted. This year’s monsoon is crucial for replenishing water sources and boosting agricultural productivity, essential for sustaining Pakistan’s economy through increased exports.

Weather experts predict an early monsoon arrival in Karachi, starting in early July, driven by a medium-level pressure system forming over the Arabian Sea around June 30. This forecast suggests "more than usual" rains in southern Sindh, including Karachi. However, the PMD advises caution, acknowledging the long-term variability of such predictions.

Looking ahead, the PMD's daily forecast indicates predominantly hot and dry conditions across the country during the daytime, with possibilities of gusty winds, windstorms, and isolated rain-thunderstorms in the evening hours, particularly in northeast Punjab, Islamabad, Potohar region, upper Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Also read: Precautionary measures for upcoming monsoon urged

In Karachi, intermittent rainfall is expected late Wednesday night, amidst hot and humid conditions persisting for the following 24 hours.

The PMD underscores the dual nature of the monsoon, highlighting its potential to bring both benefit and peril. While the rains are vital for the Kharif crop season and hydropower generation, excessive rainfall poses the risk of devastating floods. Recent years, notably 2022, saw unprecedented rains leading to widespread flooding, causing significant economic losses and loss of lives.

Conversely, insufficient monsoon rains can trigger drought conditions, as experienced in various periods in Pakistan's history, leading to food insecurity and environmental damage.

Reflecting on the previous year's monsoon, which began slightly later on July 3 and featured variable rainfall across regions, the PMD reports near-average rainfall in most areas, with exceptions like Gilgit-Baltistan experiencing a significant 90% increase. As preparations for the 2024 monsoon intensify, cautious optimism prevails amidst vigilance against potential flooding risks.


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