Deadly heatwave in Pakistan as monsoon rains fail June 16 to 24 2015


The attached infra red satellite photo acquired from CIMSS dated 28 June 2015 generally shows much of India being affected by the monsoon season with monsoon rains bringing relief across various parts of the country.

However the monsoon rains have failed to reach far north west India and Pakistan. The dome of heat that initially affected India prior to the monsoon has been pushed into north west India and Pakistan with deadly results.

A heatwave that lasted from June 17 to June 24 has taken it's toll in parts of Pakistan. In particular, the heatwave according to Accuweather reporting and data may have claimed as many as 1,150 lives although exact numbers is difficult to evaluate or confirm. It appears that the city of Karachi is worst affected which has included substantial loss of electricity at times.

Daily maximum and minimum temperatures for Karachi (Pakistan) has been reviewed for the period and it is identified that a significant burst of heat has occurred including a maximum temperature of near 45 degrees Celsius on the 20 June. The following daily maximum and minimum temperatures have been observed for the period:-

Karachi (Pakistan)

June 16 - 36.5C (Max) 31C (Min).
June 17 - 38C (Max) 30.5C (Min).
June 18 - 39.5C (Max) 30.5C (Min).
June 19 - 40.5C (Max) 32C (Min).
June 20 - 44.8C (Maximum temperature during heatwave) 32.5C (Min).
June 21 - 42C (Max) 33.5C (Min).
June 22 - 42C (Max) 33.5C (Min).
June 23 - 41C (Max) 33.5C (Min).
June 24 - 37C (Max) 31.5C (Min).

The worst of the heat was over by June 25 with slightly cooler conditions although hot weather has since returned. This shows 5 consecutive days where the maximum temperature reached 40C and 7 consecutive days where the maximum temperature reached 38C or higher.

Equally interesting are the overnight minimums where there has been little cooling. The result has been a major heat related weather event that has had a dramatic impact. With no monsoon rains in sight to bring relief, much of the hot weather is likely to remain over Pakistan. There is a forecast of 39C for Karachi for Monday. Without monsoon rains to bring relief, it is unclear how long such conditions will prevail for the region.