Predicted Weather Changes
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecasted light to moderate moist currents from the Arabian Sea to affect the upper parts of the country beginning Friday. The expected weather system is predicted to bring rain and thundershowers, with occasional heavy falls in various regions, such as Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Murree, Galliyat, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore, from September 22 to 24. Other regions, including Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Karak, Waziristan, Mianwali, Sargodha, Faisalabad, among others, are also anticipated to experience rain and thundershowers on September 23 and 24.
Potential Urban Flooding and Landslides
The Met Office has issued a warning that the anticipated moderate to heavy rainfalls could potentially lead to urban flooding in the low-lying areas of Lahore, Gujranwala, and Rawalpindi on Friday and Saturday. Moreover, the heavy rains may also trigger landslides in vulnerable areas including Murree, Galliyat, Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, and others from September 22 to 24.
Advisory to Farmers, Tourists, and the General Public
The Meteorological Department has advised farmers to manage their crops accordingly, considering the upcoming weather conditions. Tourists and travelers have also been cautioned to remain vigilant to prevent any unfortunate incidents during this period. The general public is also advised to stay in safe places during windstorms, lightning, and moderate to heavy rains. The department has also warned that wind-thunderstorms may cause damage to loose structures, such as electric poles and solar panels.
Past Impact of Monsoon Rains
Monsoon rains in Pakistan have previously resulted in severe floods and landslides, causing significant loss of life and property. Most of these incidents took place in the eastern Punjab province, with the main causes being electrocution and building collapses. In 2023, a summer monsoon, vital for the livelihoods of millions of farmers and food security in the region of around two billion people, brought heavy rains which put a third of Pakistan under water, damaged two million homes, and resulted in the death of more than 1,700 people.
Climate Change and its Impact
Scientists have noted that climate change is making seasonal rains heavier and more unpredictable. Despite Pakistan contributing less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is one of the most vulnerable nations to the extreme weather caused by global warming. The increasing temperature has also resulted in a rapid increase in pollen concentration in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, leading to an early onset of pollen season. People suffering from pollen allergies are advised to take necessary precautionary measures.