ISLAMABAD: Citizens of Turbat sweltered through the hottest day recorded in Pakistan’s history, as the mercury shot up to 53.5°C on Sunday.
The temperature equalled the one measured on May 27, 2010 in Mohenjo Daro which broke a 12-year record – 53°C in Larkana on May 31, 1998.
According to a senior meteorologist at the Met Department, the previous highest temperature recorded in Turbat was 52°C on May 30, 2009. He said the temperature in Turbat kept fluctuating between 50°C and 52°C over the past few days, but peaked on Sunday.
He predicted that the current heat wave would persist across the country for the next three to four days in interior Sindh, southern Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Weather in these parts of the country is expected to remain very hot and dry, he said.
“Pakistan is under the influence of extreme climate change and over the past few years, we have witnessed several extreme weather events,” he said. Last month’s heat wave broke old temperature records for the month of April in many cities, he added.
According to data compiled by the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the temperature in Sukkur on April 16 was recorded at 47°C. The previous highest temperature recorded in April was 46.5°C on April 25, 2000. Meanwhile, temperatures in Larkana, Sibi, Dera Ismail Khan and Faisalabad broke decades-old records for April, according to the Met Department’s data.
“However pre-monsoon is expected to start in Pakistan in the second week of June, which will help bring the temperature down,” said the meteorologist.
The Met Department earlier published a temperature reading of 54°C for Turbat on Sunday – which, if true, would have been one of the highest ever temperature readings recorded in the world.
The current record is 56.7°C, recorded in Death Valley, US on Jun 10, 1913, though some scientists believe that this number is questionable for various reasons. The next highest and most reliable is 53.9°C which was also recorded in Death Valley on five occasions – July 20, 1960, July 18, 1998, July 20, 2005, July 7, 2007, and June 30, 2013.
A figure of 54°C was also recorded at the Mitribah weather station in Kuwait on July 21, 2016, while Basra, Iraq recorded 53.9°C the very next day. The readings are currently being investigated by the World Meteorological Organisation.
At one point, the record was believed to be 57.8°C, recorded on September 13, 1922 in Azizya, Libya, but this was discredited by the World Meteorological Organisation.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM NEWS DESK)