The Meteorological Department of Pakistan has ruled out the possibility of an unprecedented heatwave in the country this year, saying they have enough scientific evidence to support the claim.
After receiving a record winter rains for the current year, reports were circulating that this year was going to be the warmest in the country’s history – but Met department thinks this is not necessarily true.
“It is premature to say that the current year will be warmest in the history of Pakistan, as no such scientific data is available at the moment,” Karachi Met Office chief Abdur Rasheed told media.
He, however, maintained that the year 2019 might be as warm as the previous four years.
“There is, however, a consensus that this year will be as warm as the past four years, but we are not expecting any unprecedented heatwaves in the current year,” he added.
Note that the heatwave in 2015 killed more than 2000 people in Karachi. The worst summers in the metropolitan’s history prompted the Met Office to establish a heatwave warning system that could warn people of the possible heatwave in advance.
‘Can’t Rule Out Heatwave’
Former Met Office Chief, Ghulam Rasool, said we could not rule out the possibility of a deadly heatwave in Karachi during May and June this year. He said this was because of the urban heat island effect, diminishing vegetation and development of unplanned concrete structures in the city.
What Is Urban Heat Island Effect?
The urban heat island effect is when a densely populated area remains significantly hotter than its surroundings due to human activities. This usually appears when the winds are weak – and in this case, in the absence of sea breezes and development of low-pressure points.
The absence of forestation and construction of massive concrete buildings cause warm winds to be trapped in the city for several days, keeping the temperature as high as 46 degrees Celsius, with a “real feel” of 52 to 55 degrees due to high humidity in the air.