Searing desert winds bake Karachi at 42°C on year’s hottest day

KARACHI: Karachiites endured the hottest day of the year on Saturday when the temperature crossed 42 degrees Celsius mark as the searing desert winds and intense heat baked the city and the trend was expected to continue for another day or two, meteorological officials said.

In its forecast for the next week, the Met office said that similar weather conditions were likely to prevail across Sindh and other parts of the country.

It is pertinent to mention here that an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its sixth assessment report recently stated that heatwave and humid and hot weather in Pakistan, along with other countries of South Asia, was set to become more intense and frequent in this century.

A Met advisory said that the city weather remained extremely hot with the temperature touching the maximum 42.8 degrees Celsius mark with 32 per cent humidity — the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.

Similar conditions may persist across Sindh for two more days: Met

“It’s not Karachi or Sindh alone, the current weather conditions are right now a national phenomenon,” said Dr Sardar Sarfaraz, director of Met office. “The situation may improve by late Sunday or early Monday when coastal areas including Karachi will get relief soon as the sea breeze is likely to resume. The months of May and June are the hottest period of the year in Pakistan. But, this year’s summer has an early start and there are extended warm periods.”

In the wake of the recent wave of high environmental temperature in different parts of the country, the National Institute of Health (NIH) meanwhile issued an advisory for educational institutions to take necessary measures.

According to the NIH, the objective of this advisory is to sensitise relevant educational institutions to take appropriate actions for preparedness, response and prevention to avert incidents of heatstroke.

The advisory provides recommendations for educational institutions on actions to mitigate the effects of extreme heat on students to reduce the frequency of heat-related illness and support their managements to prepare for and manage risks associated with extreme hot weather or heatwave.

The advisory says that children and young people are more susceptible to heat stress and therefore schools must have measures in place to prepare for and manage the risks associated with extreme hot weather.

Various actions like use of artificial shading (canopies, tents, sails and umbrellas) to shade outdoor play spaces have been advised.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2022

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