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September 8, 2018

Farmers warned of water shortages in Rabi season


September 8, 2018

Islamabad : Forecasting the continuation of scanty rainfall in the next three months, the Pakistan Meteorological Department has alerted growers to the possibility of water shortages in the imminent cropping season.

“While the summer monsoon weather system will gradually diminish during the first fortnight of September, the rains will be scanty. The amount of rainfall from September to November is expected to remain slightly below normal in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, central and lower Punjab and Sindh,” a PMD official told ‘The News’.

The weatherman also warned that the moderate-to-severe drought-like conditions were expected to occur in lower parts of Balochistan and Tharparkar area of Sindh during the September-November period.

He revealed that the Mangla dam didn’t fill to capacity due to fewer monsoon rains than normal.

“Water shortages are most likely to occur during the coming Rabi sowing season,” he said calling for the judicious use of water.

The country has two main crop growing seasons, including Rabi and Kharif.

The Rabi crops are sown from October to December and harvested from March to April, while Kharif’s are grown from July to October and reaped from September to December.

The PMD official said the monsoon air mass was retreating from Pakistan, while the western disturbances would gradually extend to southern latitude leaving the next two and three months as transition period.

“There is a likelihood of the global climate indicators, including El Nino Southern Oscillations, Indian Ocean Dipole and North Atlantic Oscillation, oscillating around its neutral position during the September-November period,” he said.

The weatherman said the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan and upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could receive normal precipitation during the period, while the snowfall season was likely to begin at higher elevation by the end of October.

He said the declining temperatures could cause the snow and glacier melt contribution to the Indus to be minimal from September to November.

The official said the country had recorded 33 per cent less rainfall from July 1 to September 7 than usual apparently due to climate change with Sindh and Balochistan being the worst-affected areas.

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