Pakistan’s Monsoon: Do we really need a Monsoon season?

“This is the second article related to the monsoon season of 2013 and it will be followed by many more articles”

Non-Monsoon rains in April in Karachi
Heavy non-Monsoon rains in April in Karachi

The country especially the southern parts have seen one of the most unusual winter of all time. It would not be wrong to say that it was the most wettest winter for the southern areas as every month brought heavy downpour along with it. This unusual trend started from the month of December last year and continued till the month of April.

What was supposed to be dry, was wet!

Will this monsoon be wet in Karachi? - You decide
Monsoon clouds hover over Pakistani city

Take the port city of Karachi for instance, the city mostly remains dry apart from the brief shower that occur in the winter season but unusually this year it rained heavily, it hailed, it thundered fiercely every month while the temperatures were low. The rains resembled as if it was a monsoon season. Following are the stats of the unusual rains in Karachi and it’s various areas;

  • December 13, 2012: Early morning Heavy thunder downpour with gusty winds especially in southern parts. 32 mm rainfall recorded.
  • December 15, 2012: Brief shower in the north. Traces reported.
  • January 15: Drizzle at night in south-eastern areas. Traces reported.
  • January 17: Light shower in North-western areas. Traces reported.
  • February 4: Heavy thunder downpour  along with hail, rain occurred in the south-eastern parts while hail occurred in the northern areas. The highest rainfall was 32 mm.
  • February 15: Thunder rainfall with hail, hail occurred in the western and central parts. A total of 14 mm rainfall was recorded.
  • February 23: Drizzle occurred, traces were reported.
  • March 6: Drizzle occurred in the North-western areas of the city.
  • March 27: Heavy thunder downpour at night, the rain was intense in the southern areas of the city. A total of 32 mm rainfall was recorded.
  • April 2: Rain with thunder/lightening along with dust storm occurred in the city at night. 13 mm rainfall was recorded, hail occurred in the north-eastern areas.
  • April 8: Rain at times heavy with thunder occurred in the city, light showers occurred in the eastern areas. 28 mm rainfall was recorded.
  • April 22: Very heavy thunder downpour occurred across the city with strong winds and hail. 41 mm rainfall was recorded.
  • April 23: Drizzle occurred in the city. Traces were reported.
  • April 24: Drizzle occurred in the city.

The average rainfall of Karachi from the month of December till April is only 27.7 mm however this time it got 192 mm rainfall. Karachi’s average monsoon rainfall from the month of June till September is 136.5 mm, so if those rains occurred in the monsoon season then we already have a near monsoon rain.

Home of Pakistani drought – Balochistan

IMD-monsoon-chartHeavy torrential rainfall had lashed Makran coast during the past months including Gwadar causing the death of five people, heavy flooding occurred in Gwadar and Kech district where shops were submerged under storm water while several walls had collapsed. It had been said that 20 years old year record of hailstorm has been broken in north-western areas of Balochistan, the storm caused the death of 5 people.

The province of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa received near normal winter/spring rains.

Will the upcoming monsoon season be affected?

Normally it is believed that wet winter season means a dry summer season but it is not necessary. In the 21st century that is 2003 and 2006, overall a wet winter season was seen across the country followed by a similar wet summer season. Still there is a high probability that monsoon season might be affected as the heating trend before the summer season is a must. The heating trend of 2013 started from the first week of May and temperatures returned to their normal position.  Lets see the year 2013 now!

Indian Ocean Dipole problem – Should it be watched?

Temperature continues to rise!
Temperature continues to rise!

As mentioned in the Part-1,  Regional Institute for Climate Change (RIGC) at Tokyo, Japan has warned that a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is developing that would become a resistance between the monsoon movement and could cause the monsoon to come to halt in August.

Pakistan Weather Portal (PWP) believes that temperatures are rising in both the western and eastern areas of Indian ocean therefore the situation is little complex but no cause of worry however monsoon going on short break is common during the season. PWP will monitor the temperatures of western and eastern Indian ocean in June again.

Sea temperatures rising and rising!

Probability of ENSO
Probability of ENSO

Temperatures are higher in the Indian ocean as mentioned in the PWP’s article in early April which could favour any tropical activity in the both the basin that is Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea, temperatures are very high in the southern and south-western Bay of Bengal. Above 30°C have been recorded in the Bay of Bengal which could favour formation of a strong tropical cyclone during this week. Temperatures are rising in the Arabian sea as mentioned by PWP in early April, 29°C was the temperature recorded in south-eastern Arabian sea. Bay’s system could churn into a strong tropical cyclone.

Our View on the upcoming season

Pakistan Weather Portal (PWP) is issuing it’s monsoon forecast of 2013 on May 6, which is stated below;

“Monsoon 2013 would set in early this year in India due to the formation of a low pressure in Bay of Bengal, overall it could be normal on the wider scale in Pakistan and India due to the neutral ENSO conditions in the Pacific ocean till October. Pakistan can get monsoon rains during the first week of July. Westerlies and Easterlies interaction could lead to heavy flooding rainfall over the rivers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, westerlies could increase their presence in late May and June. Rains could be normal in southern areas while near normal in northern areas. North-eastern Punjab and Azad Kashmir can witness some frequent heavy downpour in the month of July. Slight possibility of pre-monsoon activity in Sindh and North-eastern Punjab only. However an event of isolated flash flooding/urban flooding (happens every year) can never be ruled out.”

Monsoon Special articles for 2013

You can read special monsoon article by Pakistan Weather Portal (PWP), here;



37 replies to “Pakistan’s Monsoon: Do we really need a Monsoon season?

  1. Oh wow!! Sir tremendous article as it defines everything we want!! Iam very happy to read that normal monsoon is expected

    1. Thank you Ali 😀 The third article might take time, I made the two parts quick because I was late to publish these articles due to my unavability, last year I Published Monsoon part 1 in February and Part 2 in April.

  2. Now, The only thing between me and my precious monsoon is my 2nd year examination (16th May – 3rd June) :D. Pray for me.

  3. Babar bhai i have heard that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is not in the monsoon region. Is that true? and which areas of khyber pakhtunkhwa receives monsoon rainfall?

    1. At the moment, near normal monsoon is seen however due to westerlies and easterlies interaction Islamabad gets good rain.

  4. yaar yeh Babar ache hamen mil gae warna Pakmet to aaen baen shaen hi karte rahe hain aur detailed kuch batate bhi nahi hain .

    babar bhai zindabad

  5. Sir i have 2 questions 1@when will monsoon active in sindh i mean in july or late august??
    2@i know it is difficult for u to answer but iam asking can we expect similar rainy spells like 2011 in sindh??

    1. 1. As I have written in the forecast, there is a slight possibility of pre-monsoon activity in Sindh. Monsoon could occur in second week, chance.
      2. Last year the rains were spotty apart from that one record breaking rain that too occurred in Up Sindh. Overall the rains were below normal. This year condition could be better as comapred to last year.

  6. Is there a possibility of pre monsoon showers in isb.Are there chances of strong dust storms in isb and khaur.

    1. Low level clouds represent increase in humid winds coming from Arabian sea which increases during/around the time of monsoon..

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