Tuesday June 18, 2024

May 2024 remains second driest May since 1961

The hottest day of the May 2024 was observed at Mohenjo-Daro (Sindh) when it recorded a maximum temperature of 52.5°C on 26th May

By Ali Raza
June 07, 2024
Representational image of a hot sunny day. — AFP/File
Representational image of a hot sunny day. — AFP/File 

LAHORE: May 2024 stood as the second driest May since 1961 as the month witnessed excessively below average (-66%) rainfall.

Data collected from Met office revealed that the May 2024’s average rainfall was 5mm whereas the previous record was 3.6mm (recorded in 1988). The regions in all too recorded excessively below average rainfall.

The heaviest one-day rainfall of 56.0mm occurred at Kakul (KP) on 13th and coincidently, the same station also has been the wettest place with monthly total rainfall of 63.0mm. 

As per the Met office data, the national mean monthly temperature of 30.44°C for Pakistan also witnessed an increase of +1.50°C and was warmer than country-average of 28.94°C. The daytime (maximum) temperature at the country-level was 38.33°C (with +2.07°C anomaly) was also significantly warmer than the country average of 36.26°C while the nighttime (minimum) temperature at country level was 22.49°C (with +1.37°C anomaly) was also warmer than the countrywide average of 21.12°C.

The hottest day of the May 2024 was observed at Mohenjo-Daro (Sindh) when it recorded a maximum temperature of 52.5°C on 26th May whereas Jacobabad (Sindh) found to be the warmest place with a mean monthly maximum temperature of 46.7°C.

Met office data revealed the coldest night temperature (-1.5°C) of the month was recorded at Kalam (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) on 1st May 2024, which too happened to be the coolest place with mean monthly minimum temperature of 6.8°C.

In the month, four shallow westerly waves approached the country during 2-6,10-12,16-21, and 24-25 May, which gripped upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Kashmir, parts of north Punjab and Balochistan. Resultantly, few moderate to rather heavy falls with dust-thunderstorm occurred at scattered places in KP, GB, Kashmir and few places over Punjab & North Balochistan during the period.

Rest of the country remained under the influence of dry continental air during most of the month. In the mid of the month Seasonal (Heat) low developed over North-Northwest Balochistan which prevailed till month’s end with another low formed over eastern Sindh during 23-29 May.

A severe heatwave struck the plain areas of Punjab, Sindh and northeast & south Balochistan from 23rd May with daytime maximum temperatures shot up to 50-52°C in upper Sindh and south Punjab on 26 May. The heatwave condition persisted until the end of the month. At regional scale the situation was similar as AJK witnessed 14.20 mm (-76%) rain and ranked as the 2nd driest May (the driest ever was 10.8mm in 1988). Sindh witnessed 0.0mm (has been so for 13 times in the past 64 years), KP with 17.6 mm (-59%) being 4th driest, Punjab with 4.8 mm (-69%) being 7th driest, GB with 5.5 mm (-80%) being the 9th driest, and Balochistan with 6.0 mm (-52%) all recorded excessively below-average rainfall.

The other notable rainfalls recorded in May 2024 were Kalam and Malam Jabba 61mm, Dir 53.4mm, Mirkhani 43mm, Chakwal 41.7mm, Rawalakot 41.4mm, Kotli 39.0mm, Bannu 38mm and Drosh 37.2mm. The cities of Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Khanpur, Multan City, Mangla, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Badin, Chhor, Hyderabad Airport, Jacobabad, Karachi A/P, Larkana, Mithi, Sh.B.Abad, Padidan, Rohri, Sukkur, Mohenjo Daro, Thatta, Dadu, Mirpur Khas, Tando Jam, Sakrand, Khairpur, Gwadar, Jiwani, Lasbela, Pasni, Sibbi, Turbat, Ormara, Faisal Base and Masroor, remained absolutely dry with no rain during the month while the cities included Kot Addu, Kamra Airbase, Mandi Bahauddin, Multan Airport, Peshawar City, Bacha Khan A/P and Takht Bai recorded only traces of rainfall during the month.

Data about maximum and minimum temperature elaborated that the May 2024’s national mean temperature of 30.44°C for Pakistan was +1.50°C warmer than the country-average of 28.94°C.

A similar situation prevailed at regional scale: Sindh with 34.71°C (+1.51°C) recorded the 5th warmest May (record was 35.21°C in 2010), AJ&K with 23.37°C (+2.19°C) and GB with 20.93°C (+2.27°C) both recorded the 10th warmest May since 1961 (record was 24.86°C in 2000 & 23.04°C in 2001 respectively). Punjab with 33.32°C (+1.85°C) and Balochistan with 30.22°C (+1.07°C), too exhibited significantly warmer than average temperatures. The mean temperature anomalies of May 2024 were in range -1.5 to 5.1°C in the country.

The night (minimum) temperature of 22.49°C (with -1.37°C anomaly) was also above than average of 21.12°C during the month. Similarly, above-average temperatures were observed in the regions too.