Climate change behind 'extraordinarily above normal rain' in Pakistan - GulfToday

Climate change behind 'extraordinarily above normal rain' in Pakistan


Residents use a raft to move along a waterlogged street in a residential area after a heavy monsoon rainfall in Hyderabad City on Friday. AFP

Climate change can be attributed to the "extraordinarily above normal rain" in Sindh and Balochistan provinces in the current monsoon season, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said.

Excessive heat or back-to-back heatwaves in the southern parts of the country in May and June this year created a "strong seasonal or heat low" in July that caused heavy rains in southern Pakistan, Geo News reported citing the PMD officials as saying.

"This year, the monsoon axis also remained in the south of the country, while anti-cyclonic winds steered most of the monsoon systems to the southern parts of the country," Chief Meteorological Officer (CMO) of Sindh, Sardar Sarfraz told The News.

Sindh received 385 per cent more rain between July 1 and Aug.19 this year, while Balochistan received 371 per cent more downpour in the same period, PMD data showed.

In the month of August alone, Sindh received 495 per cent more rain, while Balochistan received 237 per cent in the first 19 days of the current month.

"The monsoon systems that wreaked havoc in Sindh and Balochistan in this season were so strong that they also resulted in rains in Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East. This is an unusual phenomenon and we have to monitor it to see if it becomes a new normal in the years to come," Sarfraz told The News.

Several other meteorologists associated with PMD and from other South Asian countries have been warning for the last several years that the rising temperature of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea may result in torrential rains and extreme weather events for southern parts of Pakistan, especially the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan, Geo News reported.

Sarfraz said several other factors, including lower than normal temperature in the Pacific Ocean and high temperature in the Indian Ocean, also contributed to excessive rains in Sindh and Balochistan.

There is a need to study this pattern to predict whether monsoon would continue to cause such rains in the future, he added.

Indo-Asian News Service

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