The time passes really quickly, it only seems yesterday that the year 2013 had started and now we are at the last day of the year. Politically 2013 was the year of change in the country. The year did set some new weather records from south to north which you could see below. Going through all the articles of the year I must say that 2013 should be called the “Year of the Earthquake” as high intensity earthquakes occurred in various parts of the country.
January – Ice Age in Murree and Faisalabad
After 50 years the temperature of Murree and north-eastern Punjab (Faisalabad and Sahiwal) was same that is -2°C on January 8 while Lahore froze at 0 °C. The last time such cold wave occurred was in 1962.
Torrential rains in a calm month that too in Karachi is rare but if that trend continues for the coming month, its even more rare. The trend of monthly heavy rain accompanied by explosive thunder and winds started from December 2012 and continued in January, February, March and April.
February – Winter storm creates havoc everywhere
Rainstorms, Windstorms, Hailstorms, Thunderstorm, Blizzards, Avalanches – These are the things that Pakistan witnessed during this storm that affected the entire country. 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.
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. 2003 storm’s highest rain was 314 mm in Murree while 2013 storm’s highest rain was 219 mm in Rawalakot but the storm of 2013 break the snowfall records.
March – Islamabad turns white!
On March 14, the federal capital Islamabad was whitened from its colourful atmosphere that came as a surprise as a thunderstorm yielded intense hailstorm, the storm impacted major cities of northern Punjab. A Western Winds was responsible for the unusual turn in the event. The other cities that received hailstorm included Rawalpindi and Lahore.
April – Flooding hits Lower Balochistan
Heavy torrential rainfall lashed Makran coast 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 of houses collapsed. The flooding did not get any coverage from the media.
Massive Earthquake hit UAE, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. The magnitude was 7.8 on Richter Scale. Two tremors were felt in Karachi. In January 2011, a similar earthquake of same pattern of magnitude 7.2 hit UAE, Iran, Pakistan, India and other adjoining countries, it followed a similar pattern like today’s earthquake. Following are the earthquakes that occurred during the same period;
- Earthquake jolts Sindh coast (March)
- Another Earthquake hits Pakistan including Islamabad (April – The magnitude was 6.8)
The cultural hub of the country came close in setting a new all time high temperature on May 23 as the highest temperature in the month of May occurred in 1990 (23 years ago) that was 47.4 °C according to NOAA. On May 23, the severe heat wave that has engulfed much of Pakistan since mid of May caused the temperature to rise at 47 °C thus coming close but not breaking the monthly temperature.
Two western disturbances affected the province the first one brought landslides and floods while the second one brought intense windstorms that killed many people in the province, the provincial capital Peshawar was also affected. The fierce winds also reached Islamabad/Rawalpindi where according to few local stations unconfirmed 90 km/h to 130 km/h winds blew in the cities.
Very heavy rain of 102 mm rain occurred in Lahore.
Pakistan experienced the worst Measles outbreak since 2008. The increase in Measles outbreak can be contributed to the frequent floods that have been witnessed since 2010. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012, 310 deaths were reported while 14, 984 cases came forward. In 2013, WHO say that the ‘track is much worse’ than 2012.
After experiencing torrential monsoon rains and floods in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Sindh was the first Pakistani province to report outbreak of Measles in December 2012, almost all deaths were of children who lived in the flood and rain-affected areas according to Asian Human Rights Commission. After Sindh, severe measles outbreak was reported in Punjab province.
August – The Karachi floods
Karachi experienced it’s first monsoon deluge of the year due to the remnants of a tropical depression BOB 03 that formed in the Bay of Bengal on July 30 and traveled all the way from eastern India to central India and then to southern Pakistan. 136 mm (5.3 inches) was recorded in North Karachi while 74 mm (2.9 inches) was recorded in DHA (south) Karachi. TV Footage showed cars upside down in some areas of the city due to the power of floodwater.
On August 6, a severe wave of monsoon rain hit the capital city causing all flights to be cancelled as rain water gathered over the runway. The rain (107 mm) was due to the seventh monsoon spell that brought heavy downpour to many areas of the north. Just six days after, monsoon 2013′s strongest eighth spell hit the upper parts bringing very intense rains there, Islamabad got 202 mm on August 13 and 103 mm on August 14.
Islamabad got 567.3 mm rain in the month of August as compared to the average monthly rain of 334.7 mm. Following is a related article;
September – Powerful Earthquake strikes Pakistan
Earthquake of magnitude 7.7 occurred in the SSE of Balochistan at about 4:29 pm PKT, strong tremors were felt in Karachi. The quake caused an Island to emerge near Gwadar coast, the death toll in Balochistan touched 300 people while 500 were injured. It was followed by days of aftershocks in Awaran district of Balochistan as the most powerful aftershock occurred four days after the main quake.
The area had adjoining Sindh province witnessed two minor earthquake in December as well.
October – Karachi after 9 years
On October 10, rain occurred in the metropolis after nine years (last rain occurred in October 2004 due to cyclone Onil). During the middle of October the city witnessed daily formation of dust storm with drizzle/sharp showers in some parts of the city. October is the most calm and driest month in the city.
December – Punjab hides under fog!
It has become a yearly story in Punjab, fog is becoming the second most deadly weather in the country after the monsoon season. In Multan district at least 18 people died due to the dangerous fog. Many cities of Punjab have been effected which include Lahore, Gujranwala, Jhang, Layyah, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar.
Intense fog was also observed over the southern areas of Pakistan.
The 30-year-old minimum temperature of December was broken in parts of Balochistan as the temperature dropped to -15°C in Kalat while it dropped to -13°C in the provincial capital Quetta due to the Siberian anticyclone. Miranshah, North Waziristan saw first snowfall after five years. The lowest temperature of December −2.8 °C set in 1984 was broken after 29 years in Islamabad as temperature was -3°C on December 30, 2013.
Since December 27, the lowest temperature in Karachi had been 6°C which dropped to 4°C (unofficial) on December 31 early morning.
Interesting and shocking stories of 2013
The Guardian, one of the most popular newspaper of the world from United Kingdom, mentioned PWP’s view on the heatwave of 2013. (check here check here). UK journalist John Vidal mentioned PWP’s view on his blog as well (check here). Pakistan Meteorological Department took pictures from PWP which would refer to our blog once you click them. (check here). A large number of people mentioned PWP on forums and social sites in 2013.
There were lots of other things in 2013 that happened in Pakistan and the globe which captured the attention of the people, lets take a look of the interesting and most shocking stories of the year from PWP;
- Death of Children: Sindh turning into new Africa?
- Division – Kashmir Heaven axed by Devilish LoC! (Pak-Indo Tensions)
- Britain gearing up: After snow, cold and warm weather – comes another storm!
- Asteroid heading towards Planet Earth!
- Hollywood-style Meteor screams its way into Russia
- Whitewash – Japan gets pounded by snow!
- Froze to Death: The Wall Between Nature and Child!
- Heatwave enters as soon as Winter ends – Karachi burns!
- A Cyclone is coming to Pakistan this year!
- Pakistan Election 2013: Dust storms can occur in North!
- Lunar Eclipse to make its entrance tonight!
- Massive Tornado blasts its way through Oklahoma!
- The infamous blood rain – Sky bleeds as red rain falls! (Not related to 2013)
- Burst of clouds causes ‘Himalayan Tsunami’ (Monsoon mayhem in India – Early this year)
- Lenticular Clouds and the skies of Pakistan! (For tourism purpose)
- Grow up Media: Shocking video of a flood-victim (Indian Journalism shocks the world)
- An Image of British Karachi under flood!
- Harvest Moon: The Rise of the Orange Moon!
- When religion and hatred mingles in with weather
- The Arab Snow: Now Weather Revolution in Middle East!
Make way for 2014!
The year of 2013 was mostly calm for Pakistan it was not as bizarre as 2010 nor astonishing as 2011, it was not even spectacular as 2012 but it was a freak year for the country as the country experienced two major earthquakes, amazingly there was little damage. The disasters that occurred during the monsoon season were mostly man-made, the year will always be remembered for its winter and earthquakes. Now we are heading towards a new year with high hopes lets wish and pray that no disaster eye the country as Pakistan cannot suffer another catastrophe!