ISLAMABAD: The lockdown and limited traffic may have led to a drop of more than 10pc in daytime temperatures in the twin cities.
The positive impact of the global lockdown efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus on nature and the environment have been reported around the world, and it is having a similar impact in this region as well.
Official Met Office figures show that the maximum temperature in Islamabad fell by 12pc in April, with the average temperature at 26.8°C.
The average maximum temperature in Rawalpindi was 27.3°C,10pc lower than normal.
A senior Met Office official said the drop in daytime temperatures is not supported by any other technical reason than limited human interventions.
Met Office figures show maximum temperature in capital fell by 12pc in April
“Even rainfall in Rawalpindi’s urban areas has been below normal, but the heavy traffic, small heat-emitting units and even human exhalations in a close area create a heat cloud over congested cities,” the official said.
The official added that there has not been a significant change in nighttime temperatures, as the minimum temperature
in Islamabad has been 2.3pc lower than normal while the situation in Rawalpindi is the opposite.
Met Office records show that the average minimum temperature in April was 16.1°C, 2.1pc higher than the average. Rainfall
in Rawalpindi was around 56pc below normal, at 28.1 millimetres. Islamabad, however, received slightly above normal rainfall – 63mm – in April.
With the onset of summer at the beginning of May, temperatures will likely be normal next month.
The Met Office has predicted two to three spells of rainfall in May with isolated systems coming from the west.
But, if the lockdown continues in May, rain will cool down areas in the north. As southern parts of the country will witness a surge in temperatures, the north-south temperature
gradient could result in dust storms and whirlwinds in central and south Punjab and northern Sindh.
The official said: “A similar pattern was seen on Saturday even in Islamabad, when rainfall began with cold droplets accompanied by winds from the west but soon southern winds pushed back the clouds to bring warm heavy showers after a gap of a few minutes.”