As it was being earlier expected that El-Nino, the warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean, would form and affect the world’s weather pattern especially the winter season but it seems as if nature has some thing else install for the world as El-Nino now looks like a distant dream.
Western winter winds did come to Pakistan during middle of October in the northern areas however they did not have enough strength to bring cold winds to the southern parts as well as snowfall to the northern areas. On November 19, due to a strong western disturbance ’07’ that was over Iran, it brought slight chilly winds to the southern parts of the country while few days ago western disturbance ’06’ brought season’s first snowfall to Gilgit region.
Factors that affect Pakistan in Winter
Only two weather phenomenons affect Pakistan during winter months;
- Western disturbance: These storms have the potential to cause heavy precipitation with strong winds gusting to 100 km/h or more, they could cover whole Pakistan depending upon their intensity. It is major non-monsoon weather system in the north-western sub-continent.
- Fog: It mostly affect the plains of Punjab, Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and adjoining Sindh, depending upon the prevailing conditions, fog could turn into the most threatening source of traffic accidents in the country. It rarely forms over coastal Pakistan.
Upcoming Winter Weather
Current western disturbance ’07’ would cause the night temperatures to drop by 2°C to 3°C in the northern areas while 1°C to 2°C in the southern parts including Karachi, precipitation wise, WD 07 would cause light showers with light snowfall over the extreme northern areas.
During the first/second week of December, a fresh western disturbance could affect the country, some chances that it would affect the western coastal areas. Precipitation would be light to near medium at the moment after that foggy conditions might develop/re-develop over the plains of central areas.
Winter of 2012-2013: First Outlook
Tokyo-based Regional Institute for Global Change (RIGC) along with several other climatic Institutes were expecting El-Nino to affect the winter however after still formation it mostly disappeared giving a clear way for ENSO neutral condition. In Pakistan, last two winters 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 were affected by La-Nina.
“Due to the prevailing and developing atmospheric conditions across the region, the winter in coming months is likely to be near normal as a whole in terms of temperatures while it could be slightly warmer than average in south-eastern parts of the country that is south Punjab and Sindh. Cooler than average conditions could occur in north-western areas of the country during the month of January. While rainfall would be below normal in Sindh, south Punjab and lower Balochistan while normal in upper Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and northern Punjab, it could turn into slightly above normal in January and February in the northern areas. Heavy precipitation could create isolated flash flooding in northern Balochistan in January/February” – (PWP will issue a second outlook on January 15, 2013 where this forecast would be revised or remain unchange).
Pakistan Weather Portal (PWP) declared the start of winter (2012 – 2013) from November 19 as by then the cold winds had entered the coastal areas after engulfing the whole country.