Met office juxtaposes rain with drought
LAHORE: The Pakistan Meteorological Department on Wednesday forecast rain during the next few days but also feared agricultural drought in the plains of the country in the next three to four weeks.
According to its latest assessment of weather, the PMD said upper and some central parts of the country were likely to receive monsoon rains during the coming three to four days.
It said rains remained below normal in July, and the current trend of submissive monsoon was likely to continue till mid of this month due to the El-Nino factor.
Monsoon currents were penetrating over upper parts of the country and an approaching westerly wave would grip northern parts on Thursday evening. The interaction of the monsoon currents and the cold westerly wave would generate scattered monsoon rains with isolated heavy falls over Islamabad, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir from Friday to Sunday.
The rice growing areas of Punjab were expected to receive good rains on Saturday and Sunday, the PMD said.
It said insufficient water in Rawal, Simli and Khanpur dams had disrupted water supply to Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Mangla Dam was also facing water shortage due to the low monsoon rains. However, the water situation in Rawal, Simli, Khanpur and Mangla dams was likely to improve to some extent during the coming weekend.
And in its forecast for the farmers, the PMD said the monsoon currents would weaken over the monsoonal belt during the next two to three weeks. This situation might produce agriculture drought over the plains of the country.
Farmers were advised to take timely precautionary measures to protect their crops, livestock and other property while keeping in mind the current monsoon situation.
Meanwhile, the local Met office forecast scattered thundershowers with isolated heavy falls over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, north and northeast Punjab and Kashmir in the next 24 hours. Isolated rain was also expected over Gilgit-Baltistan, south Punjab and southeast Sindh.
It reported 27mm of rain in Kakul, 13mm in Murree, 11mm in Kotli, 10mm in Parachinar and 7mm in Muzaffarabad.
In Lahore, weather remained mild because of a cloud cover and strong wind throughout the day. But it turned muggy in the evening. The maximum temperature was 35.5 degrees Celsius and the minimum 26.8 degrees Celsius with 85 per cent humidity in the morning and 60 per cent in the evening.
There are chances of light rain in the city in the next 24 hours.