‘Winter Storm creates havoc’
Rainstorms, Windstorms, Hailstorms, Thunderstorm, Blizzards, Avalanches – These are the things that Pakistan has witnessed in the last three days, astonishingly whole country has been affected by the PWP’s most talked severe winter storm (western disturbance ’18’) in the last few days. This deadly storm has brought countrywide precipitation and a coldwave, as the country was going through one of it’s driest winter.
According to private media, at least 14 people have died in weather-related incidents. A lightning strike also killed a horse and two donkeys in Gujranwala, Punjab.
What made it so strong?
A low pressure area formed over Rajasthan due to which moisture laden winds from the Arabia sea and the Bay of Bengal started penetrating into the western system, the moist and warm air from the Arabian Sea was drawn northward along the jet-stream that was extending from middle east to northern India, where it interacted with cold air mass of Russia. The rain and snow were severe over the northern areas while the southern parts received moderate showers. Southern port city of Karachi witnessed an isolated hail along with showers. Following was the amount of rainfall that occurred in various cities of Pakistan;
- Rawalakot got 219 mm.
- Saidu Sharif got 212 mm.
- Kakol got 209 mm.
- Chirat got 184 mm.
- Malam Jaba got 183 mm.
- Rawalpindi got 174 mm.
- Islamabad got 173 mm.
- Risalpur got 168 mm.
- Lower Dir got 149 mm.
- Muzaffarabad got 130 mm.
- Peshawar got 115 mm.
- Balakot got 110 mm.
- Many cities received above 50 mm rainfall.
The Avalanche on February 3 buried six people in upper Dir. Following is the quantity of snowfall that occurred in the northern areas;
- Malam Jabba got 10 foot.
- Kalam got 6 foot.
- Murree got 2 foot.
- Parachinar got 2 foot.
- Skardu got 2 foot.
We told you so!
Pakistan Weather Portal (PWP) in its January 31 update had warned that 120+ mm rainfall could occur in the northern areas while there were chances of blizzard as well. Western disturbance ’18’ also followed a track as foretold by PWP in the January 31 update which is stated below;
“On the afternoon of February 2, Western disturbance ’18′ would be over NW Iran and adjoining Afghanistan by the same night, it would be over Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan (north-western Balochistan). During that time, trough from this WD would be over western Balochistan extending till Makran coast with thunderstorms. On February 3, it would be over central Afghanistan but its trough would cover much of the country extending till Karachi coast. On February 4, the western disturbance ’18′ would be situated over northern areas of Pakistan while the thunderstorms over southern parts over Sindh including Karachi could move into Indian state of Gujarat. Western disturbance ’18′ would stay over the northern areas from February 4 till February 5 night where it would weaken on February 6 morning and start moving into north-western India where it would stay till February 7 before finally its clouds spreading and it would be much dissipated.
On February 4, weak cold winds may penetrate into the country especially the northern areas.”
List of countries affected by storm
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, India, China and Nepal are the countries that have been affected by this weather system. Following are the major highlighted affects of Western disturbance ’18’;
- It brought severe windstorms in Egypt and Iraq.
- It brought drizzle in Dubai, UAE.
- It brought 200+ rainfall in North Pakistan.
Is it the strongest Winter storm?
It can be compared to the February 2003 storm that occurred in the third week of February and sub-merged many cities of the country including Hyderabad. However the 2003 storm was much powerful than the 2013 storm as it flooded the southern, central and northern areas of the country; and lasted till a week, it also brought unconfirmed tornadoes. 2003 storm’s highest rain was 314 mm in Murree while 2013 storm’s highest rain is 219 mm in Rawalakot!
But the storm of 2013 break the snowfall records – That is amazing!