Heat wave: City to sizzle for a few more days

Temperature soared to 44.8 degrees in Karachi, Sukkur hits 47.5 degrees


A man and a girl share an umbrella for respite from the blazing sun as the mercury soared to 44.8 degrees in Karachi on Saturday. PHOTO: AYSHA SALEEM/EXPRESS

KARACHI:


After spending an exceptionally hot Saturday, residents of Karachi must brace for the next few days that the current heat wave is expected to last.


The temperature in the port city was recorded at 44.8 degrees on Saturday, making it the hottest day so far this year. There were isolated reports of light drizzle in some areas as well. Karachi will experience this heat wave for the next few days but light showers with thunder are expected to hit some parts of the city on Sunday evening, said S Sarfaraz, the regional director of the meteorological department, Karachi.

"Low pressure inside the sea is the reason behind the weak winds in the South and South-Eastern regions of Pakistan," he said. "The heat wave will remain this way for the next two three days at least."

According to Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics director Abdul Rashid, the pressure in the Arabian Sea, which is between one kilometre and five kilometres, has drastically changed the wind direction, from the North instead of the South.

Rashid pointed out that the prevailing temperature is not the highest that the city has witnessed. "The hottest day in Karachi was June 18, 1979, with temperatures soaring to 47 degrees Celsius," he said, adding that this record will not be broken this year as the temperature will get back to normal in a few days. "Karachi will have its proper rains in the monsoon season that is late July, before that there will only be pre-monsoon, light showers."

The heat wave in Sukkur was worse with mercury rising to 47.5 degrees in the main city and other parts of upper Sindh. Larkana was the hottest with 49 degrees Celsius. Hyderabad and other cities in southern and central Sindh also experienced another hot day on Saturday with the mercury peaking at 44 degree Celsius in Nawabshah and Dadu, and 43 in Hyderabad and Tharparkar.

Beat the heat

Those working in the city may be stuck here during this heat but many have sent away their families to villages up North. "Even a night, there is no respite from the heat," said a private security guard, Majid, who sent his entire family to his village in the northern areas. "I can't go because of my job but at least my children don't have to put up with this heat."

Rickshaw driver Naeem Sadiq feels that the heat worsens every year. "With the electricity utility taking no pity on us even during Ramazan, the heat has increased our misery."

Ambreen Christopher, a nursing supervisor at National Medical Centre, counts herself lucky because her workplace is centrally air-conditioned. "My colleagues who step outside to do their duty have been complaining a lot.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2015.

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