El Niño may aggravate drought situation in Pakistan



PAKISTAN: The reemergence of El nino is weakening the monsoon over the upper part of the Indian ocean and Southeast Asia including Pakistan and India.


Below average water temperatures from Somalia to Arabian sea  and El nino together may hinder the arrival of monsoon in Pakistan or lessen its impact in much of Pakistan and western India during July and August.

These areas are home to significant amounts of crops and agriculture are under a dangerous drought threat, as they are likely to receive many days of heat.

Read: A killing heat

While during a usual monsoon season rainfalls and tropical system cool the region post the heat buildup, El nino alters sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific causing above average number of typhoon which in turn reduces tropical activity and reduces rainfall in the upper part of the Indian ocean.

A complex and difficult to predict rain system called Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) which is ‘a pulse of showers and thunderstorms that tends to migrate from west to east around the equatorial regions of the globe’ may strengthen the monsoon slightly.

“Even if another pulse was to develop in the region late in the summer or during the fall, it may be too late to turn the drought around in Pakistan and northwestern India,” Nicholls said.

Read:Climate change: Ministry forms advisory body


Temperatures may reach as high as AccuWeather RealFeel® of 100 F or higher due to the flow of humid air over much of the region and spotty storms.

“The weather patterns that will follow due to this El Nino effect can sometimes be very dry and or even very wet. There is also the likelihood that in future, floods and droughts might occur at the same time,” according to Chief Meteorologist Dr Ghulam Rasul

In 1997-1998, El Niño resulted in abnormal heavy snowfall, followed by the country’s worst and longest drought that stretched for four years in Balochistan, lower Punjab and K-P.

The 2009 El Niño resulted in a severe drought followed by devastating floods in 2010-2011.

The article originally appeared on Accuweather


Met Office predicts more rains this week


Scattered rain-thunderstorm is expected in Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Metrological Department has predicted two spells of spring rain over the upper parts of the country during the current week.

Met-Office reported that a weather system, presently located over Iran, is heading towards Pakistan and likely to approach Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Tuesday (evening/night) and likely to grip upper parts of the country on Wednesday.

Under the influence of this weather system scattered rain-thunderstorm is expected in Upper KP (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat & Bannu divisions), Islamabad, Upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha & Lahore divisions), Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan on Wednesday.

Another weather system is likely to approach Northern parts of Balochistan on Friday and likely to grip Upper Parts of the country on Saturday producing scattered rain/thunderstorm in Northern Balochistan (Quetta, Zhob & Kalat divisions on Friday (evening/ night)/Saturday), while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Upper Punjab, Islamabad, Kashmir & Gilgit-Baltistan on Saturday and Sunday.

Rain-fed areas of wheat growing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab are likely to receive good rain during the weekend; however weather will remain dry in southern Punjab and Sindh during the period.

Rain will be accompanied by wind storm/hail storm at isolated places in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Kohat divisions during the weekend.

Cyclone Mahasen: Bangladesh orders coastal evacuation


Hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated from coastal areas of Bangladesh threatened by Cyclone Mahasen.

The Bangladeshi authorities have raised the danger level to seven out of 10 for low-lying areas around Chittagong and the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.

The cyclone, heading north-east through the Bay of Bengal, is estimated to reach land on Thursday.

Burma is also threatened and evacuation efforts are under way there.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in camps in low-lying areas of Burma’s Rakhine state are feared to be at risk.

They were displaced by ethnic violence last year and many are reluctant to move from the camps.

Hla Maung said he lost his mother and two young daughters during the clashes between Muslims and Buddhists.

“I lost everything … I don’t want to go anywhere. I’ll stay here. If I die, I want to die here,” he said.

The country’s National Planning Minister, Tin Naing Thein, said more than 150,000 people had been relocated to higher ground. The government said a fifth of those were Rohingyas.


The Bangladesh Meteorological Department said the storm could create a surge 2m high in coastal districts and residents are being urged to make for cyclone shelters.

The airport in Cox’s Bazar has closed and Chittagong airport is to shut over the next few hours.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Cyclone Mahasen appeared to have weakened to a Category One storm.

But the UN still described it as “life-threatening” for 8.2 million people in Bangladesh, Burma and north-east India.

At least 50 Rohingya Muslims were feared drowned on Tuesday when boats evacuating them from the path of the cyclone capsized off western Burma.

More than 100,000 people died in 2008 when Cyclone Nargis devastated many of Burma’s coastal villages.

Map showing path of Cyclone Mahasen

Thunderstorm with Heavy Downpour in Karachi

he rainfall was started in Karachi at around 9:20pm (P.S.T) with Gusty winds and lightning with Loud Thunder sound. Many areas of Southern and Eastern side of Karachi was witnessed of heavy rain and Hail including Clifton,Defence,Saddar,Shara-e-Faisal,Gulshan-e-Iqbal,Malir.While just Light rain/drizzle occured in Northern and Western parts of city including Nazimabad,North Nazimabad,North Karachi,F-B Area,F-C Area.After the rainfall, weather of Karachi turned very pleasant and slightly cool as the Karachi received rainfall.
Amount of Rainfall recorded during last night in Karachi:Landhi 28mm, Saddar 5mm, Faisal Base 3mm, Old Airport area 2.8mm, Jinnah Terminal 0.4mm and Masroor Base 1mm.(27-3-2013)

Nation prays for Malala’s recovery!

Malala was unconscious and the next 24 hours would be crucial, a doctor said.



People across the country are observing Friday as a “day of prayer” for teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who is in the critical care unit at a military hospital after being shot in the head during an assassination attempt by the Taliban.

Special prayers were offered during the morning assembly at all educational institutions for Malala and her two friends who were injured in Tuesday s attack, Dunya News reported.

In Lahore, over 50 clerics and scholars of the Sunni Ittehad Council issued a collective fatwa that described the attack on Malala as an un-Islamic act that violated Shariah or Islamic law.

The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai on a school bus in the Swat valley has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities.

But as she spent a second day in intensive care, questions are mounting about how the attack could have happened in the first place and how the perpetrators simply walked away in an area with a police and army presence.


“Now she needs post surgery care. The doctors recommended that AFIC (Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology) has better facilities for post-surgery care,” military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa told AFP.

Another official later confirmed she had arrived by helicopter in Rawalpindi, the twin city of the capital Islamabad and the headquarters of the Pakistan army.

Bajwa said Malala was unconscious and that the next 24 hours would be crucial.

On Wednesday, she underwent an operation to remove the bullet from between her shoulders in a military hospital in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

“She has been put on a ventilator for two days. The bullet has affected some part of the brain, but there is a 70 percent chance that she will survive,” one of her doctors, Mumtaz Khan, told AFP.

Mehmoodul Hasan, one of Malala`s relatives, said the family had been told doctors were sending her medical reports abroad for advice.

“They are checking if better facilities are available in the UK or Dubai or any other country, then they will decide about sending her abroad, otherwise they will treat her here,” said Hasan.

Malala won international prominence after highlighting Taliban atrocities in Swat with a blog for the BBC three years ago, when the militants burned girls  schools and terrorised the valley before the army intervened.

She was just 11 then, and her struggle resonated with tens of thousands of girls denied an education by militants across northwest Pakistan, where the government has been fighting local Taliban since 2007.

The provincial government announced a 10 million rupee ($104,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of Malala s attackers and Interior Minister Rehman Malik has promised to catch the gunmen.

He appealed to Pakistanis to pray for Malala s recovery on Friday, when Muslims say their main weekly prayers at mosques.

In northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where the attack took place, provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that civil servants and schools would observe a one-minute silence on Friday to remember acts of terrorism.

Officers in Swat say dozens of people were rounded up after the attack but no one has been charged.

Many flood-hit areas still inundated

NASIRABAD: Even after passage of three weeks many parts of Sindh, Balochistan and Punajb affected by the recent floods continue to remain inundated.

Houses under many feet water have started to collapse and the displaced residents are forced to take shelter under the open sky alongside the roads.

Nasirabad and Jaffarabad, which were hit by flash floods originating from Koh-e-Suleman and Dera Bugti’s mountainous areas, continue to remain submerged.

The displaced people are without food, water and medicines while the communication routes are also blocked.

There are a number of such areas which were worst hit by the recent monsoon floods but remained completely neglected as no relief was provided to the affected people there either by the government or an NGO.

Those areas of Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan where water has receded present a horrible picture of devastation caused by the floods.

The flood affected parts of Jacobabad, Kashmor, Kandhkot and Shikarpur are no longer underwater but are now covered with thick mud and piles of wreckage and are in a grip of strong stinking smell.

The calamity-hit areas of Qambar Shahdadkot in Sindh, which were submerged following the breach of RBOD flood gates, continue to give a look of a river.