August 2023 Declared Driest Month in 63 Years
In a troubling development in the field of meteorology, August 2023 has been identified as the second driest August in Pakistan over the last 63 years, exhibiting a significant 66% shortfall in rainfall compared to the historical average.
This discovery, based on data compiled by the Meteorological Office, ranks it just behind the historically dry August of 1993 when only a mere 16.4 mm of rain fell throughout the entire month.
The impact of this drought has been particularly severe across various regions of Pakistan. Balochistan experienced its driest August on record, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab both endured their second driest August, only surpassed in dryness by the infamous August of 1993.
Notably, Gujranwala in Punjab recorded the highest rainfall of the month on August 5th with 102.0 mm, while Lower Dir claimed the title of the wettest location with a total monthly rainfall of 231.0 mm.
Furthermore, August 2023 witnessed a rise in temperatures, with the national mean monthly temperature reaching 30.44 °C, surpassing the average by 0.19 °C. Daytime temperatures averaged 36.34 °C, while nighttime temperatures were 0.20 °C above the average.
The implications of this exceptionally dry August are substantial, as this month typically contributes nearly 19% of the national annual rainfall and almost 40% to the monsoon. Experts caution that this drought may result in water scarcity and agricultural challenges in the affected regions.
Looking forward, meteorologists predict that most plain areas of Pakistan will continue to experience hot and humid weather, with isolated occurrences of rain, wind, and thunderstorms anticipated in specific regions, including upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Potohar, Islamabad, northeast Punjab, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.