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National

Web Desk
May 4, 2018
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Heatwaves expected in Karachi

Pakistan Meteorological Department Chief Dr Ghulam Rasul has warned that chances of heatwaves in Karachi are very high in April and the next month.

Talking to The News, he defined a heatwave as an increase of five degrees in the mercury from a normal or average temperature persisting for three or more days.

The metropolis experienced the hottest day of the year on Thursday as the temperature soared to 44 degrees Celsius after the sea breeze towards the city stopped due to a low pressure area on upper Sindh.

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Dr Rasul said the Met Office will issue a special advisory prior to the onset of any heatwave in any part of the country so that people and the authorities can take precautionary measures.

The Met chief said the mercury in Karachi will remain a degree or two above the normal temperature in May and June, adding that the average temperature this month has been 38°C, which means that it is expected to rise to 39°C or 40°C.

“Chances of heatwaves in the country this month and in the following months are very high. The coastal areas especially may have to endure heatwaves if the sea breeze stops blowing under the influence of a low pressure area in the Arabian Sea.”

Dr Rasul said the people of Karachi should remain alert if a heatwave warning is issued for the city. Following the deadly heatwave of June 2015, Met officials had started warning people in advance about the sudden rise in temperature, changes in the wind directions and humidity.

Although the temperature in the city did not cross 36.5°C on Wednesday, there were reports of people falling unconscious due to suffocation and hot and humid conditions.

The Met chief said that after the 2015 heatwave, they had established a Heatwave Early Warning Centre in Karachi that provides the forecast for three consecutive days in case the temperature is expected to rise above normal, so people and the authorities can be forewarned to take precautionary measures.

“We are also in touch with the K-Electric and have advised them to manage their load due to expected rise in the temperature, especially in the low-income group areas, where people don’t have alternative means of keeping their fans running.”

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