With the arrival of winter in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, a new capital has taken shape and that is the port city of Gwadar. The summer capital of the province is Quetta but like the change of the direction of winds during the winter season , it seems that capital winds have shifted from Quetta to Gwadar. The Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani issued directives declaring Gwadar as winter provincial capital of the province. The Chief Minister announced on October 28;
“Gwadar will be the winter provincial capital of Balochistan from Oct 21 to March 3”.
The proposal of making the coastal town the winter capital of the province was made by Speaker Aslam Bhootani two years back. Let us now see the climate of Gwadar from November till March!
Gwadar: Part of the Sultanate of Oman?
Before 1958, Gwadar was a territory of Oman but on September 8, 1958, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar for $3 million. Gwadar officially became part of Pakistan on 8 December 1958. At the time, Gwadar was a small fishing village with a population of a few thousand.
On July 1, 1997; The Pakistani government made Gwadar a part of Balochistan province as the district headquarters of the newly formed Gwadar District. Gwadar has an area total of 12,637 km2 and today the city has a population of 53, 080.
Climate cycle of Gwadar
Gwadar is located at about 0 – 300 metre above the sea level. The hottest month of the city is June while the coldest month is January. The climate of Gwadar is somewhat identical to that of some Middle eastern countries. The average rainfall from January till December is 227 millimetres. Following are the dominant features of the climate of Gwadar;
- Western Disturbances generally occurs during the winter months and causes moderate to above-moderate showers in the port city, temperatures also decrease due to it.
- Shamal winds mostly occur during the months of April till May, these winds are quite dusty and are stronger in the morning than at night.
- Continental air prevails during the period when there is no precipitation in the city.
- Tropical storm rarely moves towards the city’s coastline.
The highest temperature was 37.2 °C recorded on 1 November 1965 while the lowest temperature is 5.5 °C recorded on 27 November 2003. The highest rainfall of this month is 47 millimetres in 1963 while the average is 3.7 millimetres (0.15 in) and the 24 hour rain in this month is 42 millimetres (1.7 in) occurred on 24 November 1963. Rainfall in this part of the month occurs due to western depressions.
The highest temperature was 33.1 °C recorded on 8 December 2005 while the lowest temperature is 0.5 °C recorded on 15 December 2003. The highest rainfall of this month is 142 millimetres (5.6 in) in 1989 while the average is 21.6 millimetres (0.85 in) and the highest 24 hour rain in this month is 71.2 millimetres (2.80 in) occurred on 6 December 1997.Cold waves accompanied by western depression causes isolated heavy showers in this month.
January is the coldest month of the city with lowest temperature of 2.3 °C on 31 January 2001 while the highest temperature was 31.1 °C recorded on 30 January 1963. Western disturbance causes precipitation in this month of the year in Gwadar. The highest rain for this month is 199.1 millimetres (7.84 in) recorded in 1970 while the average is 25.9 millimetres (1.02 in). The heaviest rain in 24 hours occurred on 13 January 1970 that is 99 millimetres (3.9 in).
The lowest temperature of 1.2 °C was recorded on 1 February 2001 while the highest temperature was 33 °C recorded on 27 February 2008. Moderate intensity rains also occur in this month, the highest monthly rainfall is 265.7 millimetres (10.46 in) recorded in 1986 and average is 22.7 millimetres (0.89 in), while the heaviest 24 rainfall is 145.8 millimetres (5.74 in) recorded on 21, 1987.
The highest temperature of 40.1 °C recorded on 29 March 1999, while lowest temperature of 8 °C (46 °F) recorded on 4 March 2003. Rain is a rare in this month with average rainfall of 15 millimetres (0.59 in) while the highest for this month is 129 millimetres (5.1 in) in 2005 and the heaviest 24 hour rainfall occurred 2 March 2005 which is of 116 millimetres (4.6 in).
After March 2012, Gwadar will no longer be a capital of Balochistan, so enjoy the new capital for 5 months only!