Unprecedented Heavy Rainfall Submerges Lahore
In 2011, Lahore airport and its neighboring areas witnessed an extraordinary event when they received a staggering 98 millimeters of rainfall in a single day, marking it as the wettest day in the region’s history. Another notable record was set in 1994, when the city of Lahore received 125.5 millimeters of rainfall. However, these records have been surpassed by the recent heavy downpour that began on Sunday afternoon and continued until the time of writing.
The downpour resulted in excessive urban flooding throughout the city, particularly in low-lying areas. Motorists on major roads and link roads found themselves struggling to navigate through the torrential waters. Additionally, the transmission system of Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) faced repeated failures, causing widespread power outages across the city.
Meteorological Department Predicts Extended Rainfall
According to Shahid Abbas, the Regional Director of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the pre-monsoon rain spell is expected to continue until June 30th, driven by strong westerly winds that entered the country on June 25th. Apart from Lahore, widespread rainfall has been observed across Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Azad Kashmir. Rainfall has also been reported in Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan in the past 24 hours. However, Lahore has witnessed the highest-ever recorded rainfall in the same period.
Hydrological Situation and Flood Warnings
Regarding the hydrological situation in the country, River Kabul at Nowshera is currently experiencing low flood levels, while all other major rivers are flowing within their normal range. Flash flooding is anticipated in the hill torrents of DG Khan Division and the tributaries/local nullahs of River Kabul from June 26th to June 28th. There is also a possibility of increased water flow in the nullahs of River Ravi and River Chenab during the same period.
Deviation from Initial Rainfall Predictions
Initially, the authorities at the Pakistan Meteorological Department had predicted maximum rainfall of 30 millimeters in plain areas and 50 millimeters in hilly regions. However, these estimations fell short when heavy downpour engulfed Lahore.
Shahid further mentioned that hot weather may return to the city during the first two weeks of July. Moreover, the initial estimates suggest a weakening of monsoon currents, indicating the absence of any significant rainfall during this period.