Stormy winter rains lashes Karachi!

‘First rain in December after two years!’

Lightning visible over the sky!
Lightning visible over the sky!

Rain in winter season in the metropolis is always rare but a much welcomed sight though it rains in winter but it is mostly weak and dissipates rather quickly as compared to summers. This morning too there were chances of drizzle or isolated shower but it turned out to be an unexpected brief torrential rain that lasted for ten to fifteen minutes before losing its much strength.

What caused the rain in the city?

Western system has covered Pakistan, small thunderstorm seen near Karachi.
Western system has covered Pakistan, small thunderstorm seen near Karachi.

A western disturbance ’11’ approached the northern areas of the country on December 10 night and caused season’s first snowfall in Quetta on December 12, it caused moderate to heavy showers in Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Murree and Peshawar. Snowfall also occurred in Ziarat and Gilgit city.

A small waves of clouds over central Balochistan started moving towards Sindh on December 12 night however they dissipated quickly however it was an indication that there is a presence of moisture over the area. As soon as December 12 ended and the night moved to December 13, a weak thundercloud formed over coastal parts of Sindh especially over Karachi that was disorganized and very small as it moved eastwards it started extending to south-eastern parts of the province.

On the evening of December 13, this weak thundercloud was seen weakening and moving into coastal Gujarat, it is expected that it would competely dissipate by December 13 night.

Characteristics of the rain

The activity started from 4:55 am on December 13 as the clouds started moving into the city and by 5:05 am, many parts  of the city were experiencing intense thunderstorm with blast and with visible lightning, the city continued to experience medium level of showers but at 5:15 am, strong gusty winds started blowing in the city from north-west direction and within seconds sheets of heavy rain lashed the city; The intense thunder with high winds and heavy rain truly made it feel as if the city is experiencing a storm!

But it was not long-lasting as the stormy conditions subsided quickly giving way to moderate rain with thunder/lightning that continued till 10:00 am. Following are the features of the rain;

  • Rain – 32.5 mm recorded (Landhi) however PWP expects it to be much higher!
  • Winds – 63 km/h (40 mph) which is equal to a weak tropical storm. They were blowing from WNW/NW.
  • Humidity – The highest was 100%

Instead of decreasing the temperature, the mercury started rising soon after the rain ended. There was no significant decrease in either the day or night temperatures which continued to behave as they were doing before.

Past winter rains in Karachi

Winter rains are a rare occurrence in the city but when they do occur they always bring a smile on the face of Karachiites, following are the latest winter rains;

  • On December 4, 2006 – Karachi received 60 mm rainfall, the same western system brought 100 mm rainfall in Dubai earlier. Soon after the rain, a severe cloud wave gripped the city.
  • On December 23, 2007 – Karachi received 11 mm rainfall, it was cloudy whole day with light showers most of the day.
  • On December 6, 2008 –  Karachi received 12 mm rainfall with 59 km/h winds with thunder/lightning.
  • On December 14, 2009 – Karachi received 2 mm rainfall.
  • In December 2010, no rainfall occurred in Karachi.
  • In December 2011, no rainfall occurred in Karachi.
  • On December 13, 2012, Karachi received 32.5 mm rainfall with 63 km/h winds with intense thunderstorm.

The city’s average rainfall in the month of December is only 4.5 mm which the city easily achieved on December 13 while the temperature pattern is mostly identical to 2009’s winter.

Rain was forecasted by PWP in advance!

A western disturbance ’11’ that came into the north-western parts of the country on December 10 night, it was forecasted by PWP since December 7 while Karachi’s expected activity was first mentioned by PWP on December 10, following are some screen shots from PWP Facebook;


However PWP expected maximum 5 mm rainfall on December 13 which in reality was much higher.

Is more coming?

No! No more rain is expected in the city till some days, after the western disturbance passes by, the country including Karachi would see some decrease in temperature by 1°C to 2 °C. Overall, not a significant drop is being observed at the moment like most winter rains did in the past.


20 replies to “Stormy winter rains lashes Karachi!

  1. Raining since morning here in Lahore weather has turned really cold, especially due to high speed winds it feels colder than it actually is. Happy to see karachiites also experienced rain in winter :).

  2. unexpected rain on 13 dec,babar bai u said it would b rain btwn 05mm bt it was to higher and winds also babar bai is it chances of more rain in dec or jan ???????

    1. Yes, I also mentioned that in the article. It was forecasted by PWP that maximum 5 mm rainfall could occur on December 13 but it turned out to brief stormy condition. No more chances seen as of yet.

  3. babar bai some news channel are still saying that their r some chances of rain in karachi on 15 n 16 dec is it rite??????

  4. babar bhai plz tell me when another western disturbance will grip upper parts of the country and when we will witness the strongest weather system of winter in upper parts?????? your’s reply plz babar bhai

  5. Babar bhai,
    Kindly include a detailed forecast about Multan next time Westerlies mostly effect the mentioned city ,thanks

  6. Babar bhai,
    Kindly include a detailed forecast about Multan next time as Westerlies mostly effect the mentioned city ,thanks

  7. But on accu weather there was a forecast of -4C in tret which is almost as high as Margalla hills according to Google maps.So does it not snow at this temperature.At the same day it would be -7C in murree which would receive rain,sleet and snow.So is there a chance of snowfall at the peaks of Margalla hills.Can you explain that does it rain more on the foothills of Margallas which end at the end of the E sectors than the whole of the twin cites

  8. I wanted to ask you does Margalla hills affect isb climate and there is a forecast of -3C for Margalla hills so does it not snow at this temp.Will there be any snowfall at the peaks of Margalla hills.Is it colder near the foothills of Margalla hills than away for them and does it rain more near them.Can you tell me the weather of khaur,Punjab.

    1. 1. Yes it does.
      2. If there is no rain system then -3C (if happens) would never lead to snowfall.
      3. Snow does not happen every year over Margalla Hill, will this happen this year? Can’t say since there is no ‘proper’ winter rain/snow ahead.
      4. Weather will remain dry/foggy in Khaur till many days.

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