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Sunday August 07, 2022

March ranked 9th driest month since 1961

By Ali Raza
April 10, 2022

LAHORE : The previous month of March 2022 was ranked 9th driest and hottest month since 1961 as it recorded 62 per cent below average normal rainfall and over 4°C higher temperatures.

March 2022 rainfall was largely below normal over all parts of the country with Balochistan (-66pc), Sindh (-65pc), Punjab (-65pc), KP (-66pc) and AJK (-48pc) all experienced extreme deficient rainfall, data collected from MET office revealed.

The data revealed that during March 2022, only a couple of light rainfall events were experienced across the country. March 2022 rainfall was 62pc below average for Pakistan as a whole and ranked ninth driest March on record for the country during 1961-2022.

Climatologically, the month of March happens to be the 3rd wettest month across Pakistan. However, the March 2022 was found to be the largely deficient-rain month with only 11.6 mm (area-weighted) rain against its normal of 30.5 mm.

On average, the March rainfall contribution was of the order of 15.6pc and only 3.9pc to the winter and annual rainfall respectively.

On regional scale, all the regions/provinces witnessed dry conditions during the month. The least rainfall occurred in the province of Sindh (1.6mm/-64.7pc). Situation in the other regions were not very different as Balochistan (7.0mm/-66pc), Punjab (9.8mm/-65pc) KP (32.7mm/-65.9pc), AJK (48.3mm/-48.1pc) and GB (17.6mm/-40.7pc) all experienced extremely dry conditions.

MET office data further revealed that the wettest day of the month (March 2022) in the country was 29th March, when Muzaffarabad City (AJK) recorded 72.0 mm of rainfall, whereas the wettest place was Kakul (KP) with highest monthly total rain of 125.3 mm. Many stations in Sindh and Balochistan have reported nil or only traces of rainfall.

The national mean monthly temperature of March 2022 for Pakistan as a whole was 22.92°C, being 4.26 °C warmer than monthly-average, it has now the ever warmest month since 1961. The last record was 31.09°C in 2004.

The mean maximum (day) temperature at country-level was 30.89°C, being 5.01°C warmer than average of 25.88°C, and as such was the 2nd warmest month during past 62 years. The night (minimum) temperature was 14.95°C, being 3.52°C warmer than country-average of 11.43°C, was now the ever-warmest night temperature since 1961. The last warmest night temperature was 14.57°C in 2010.

Highest maximum temperatures records have got broken in some cities in the country. The hottest days of the month were at Shaheed Benazirabad (Sindh) when it recorded 45.5°C temperature on 27th & 28th March 2022. The coldest temperature of -5.7°C of the month was recorded at Kalam (KP) on 1st March.

On Saturday, the Met office continued to warn further rise in temperature during the week. They said continental air was prevailing over most parts of the country while a shallow westerly wave was also present over northern parts of the country and may persist till today's evening/night. For Sunday (today) they predicted mainly hot and dry weather in most parts of the country while very hot in upper Sindh and south Punjab.

Saturday's highest maximum temperature was Shaheed Benazirabad where mercury reached 47°C while in Lahore it was 40°C and minimum was 22.2°C.

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