Pakistan city sets possible world record for April heat

This is the second straight month in which Nawabshah has set a new monthly heat record for Pakistan

Islamabad: Temperatures soared to 50.2 degree Celsius in Nawabshah city on Monday in what might be the highest temperature ever observed on Earth during April.

A meteorologist at Meteo France, Etienne Kapikian, posted the observation on Twitter. He claimed that it was the warmest April temperature ever recorded in Pakistan and the entire Asian continent.

This was perhaps also the highest temperature “yet reliably observed on Earth in modern records” Christopher Burt, an expert on weather extremes, was quoted as saying by Washington Post.

The temperature was recorded on April 30 in the city of Nawabshah, located in the centre of Sindh province. This is the second straight month in which Nawabshah has set a new monthly heat record for Pakistan. In late March, a heat wave pushed the mercury there to a national record of 45.5C.

Highest temperatures recorded in other cities of Pakistan on April 30 were 49C in Larkana, Moen-jo-daro and Sukkur and 48C in Dadu, Rohri and Rahim Yar Khan.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department’s (PMD) director-general, Dr Ghulam Rasul, told Gulf News that the temperature in Nawabshah on Monday was “the highest ever recorded in Pakistan in the month of April.”

The country has experienced sweltering heat wave across different cities since late March 2018 and PMD has predicted hot and dry weather in coming months.

“The weather in May and June is expected to remain hotter than usual” because of severe impact of climate change, warns Dr Rasul.

Pakistan is ranked seventh among the top 10 countries in the world most affected by climate change.

Within Pakistan, Sindh province is the worst affected by extreme weather events.

“Sindh has always experienced high, sweltering temperatures. But what is unique is that the temperature is 1-2 degrees higher in this season which is worrying” says Mome Saleem, Programme Coordinator Ecology at Heinrich Böll Stiftung Pakistan (HBS).

Talking to Gulf News, Mome said Pakistan must take immediate measures to tackle climate change as it is leading to extreme weather events across the nation such as heat waves, recurrent floods, drought, glacial-melt, erratic rainfall and sea level rise.

“The two basic mitigation remedies are to increase forest cover and to shift toward renewable energy” she suggested. As the world is gradually investing into clean energy, “it is sad to note that Pakistan is moving toward coal-fired power plants. Thar coal plant which is expected to be switched on in 2019 will only worsen the climate change, causing extreme weather events” she warned.

For the record

In May 2017, the city of Turbat in Balochistan province witnessed 53.5°C levelling the highest-ever temperature recorded in the country on May 26, 2010 in Mohenjo-daro area of Sindh. Moenjo Daro in Sindh holds Pakistan’s all-time hottest temperature record.

In June 2015, a deadly heat wave struck southern city of Karachi when more than 2,000 people died during the heat wave from dehydration and heat stroke.

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