Climate of Karachi

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Coordinates: 24°51′N 67°02′E / 24.850°N 67.033°E / 24.850; 67.033 The climate of Karachi features an arid climate, albeit a moderate version of this climate. Karachi is located on the coast and as a result has a relatively mild climate. Karachi has two main seasons; Summer & Winter, while spring and autumn are very short. Summer season persists for longest period during the year. The level of precipitation is low for most of the year. Less precipitation during summer is due to inversion layer. Karachi also receives the monsoon rains from July to September. The city enjoys a tropical climate encompassing mild winters and warm summers. The humidity levels usually remain high from March to November, while very low in Winter as the wind direction in winter is North Easterly. Since summer temperatures (From the end of April till the end of August) are approximately 30 °C (86 °F) to 36 °C (97 °F), the winter months (From November till the end of March) are the best time to visit Karachi. Most visitors, tourists and expatriates come to Karachi during the month of December.


Climate data for Karachi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.8
(91)
36.1
(97)
41.5
(106.7)
44.4
(111.9)
47.8
(118)
47.0
(116.6)
42.2
(108)
41.7
(107.1)
42.8
(109)
43.3
(109.9)
38.5
(101.3)
34.5
(94.1)
47.8
(118)
Average high °C (°F) 25.6
(78.1)
26.4
(79.5)
28.8
(83.8)
30.6
(87.1)
32.3
(90.1)
33.3
(91.9)
32.2
(90)
30.8
(87.4)
30.7
(87.3)
31.6
(88.9)
30.5
(86.9)
27.3
(81.1)
30.0
(86.0)
Average low °C (°F) 14.1
(57.4)
15.9
(60.6)
20.3
(68.5)
23.7
(74.7)
26.1
(79)
27.9
(82.2)
27.4
(81.3)
26.2
(79.2)
25.3
(77.5)
23.5
(74.3)
20.0
(68)
15.7
(60.3)
22.2
(71.9)
Record low °C (°F) 0.0
(32)
3.3
(37.9)
7.0
(44.6)
12.2
(54)
17.7
(63.9)
22.1
(71.8)
22.2
(72)
20.0
(68)
18.0
(64.4)
10.0
(50)
6.1
(43)
1.3
(34.3)
0.0
(32)
Rainfall mm (inches) 3.6
(0.142)
6.4
(0.252)
8.3
(0.327)
4.9
(0.193)
0
(0)
3.9
(0.154)
66.4
(2.614)
44.8
(1.764)
22.8
(0.898)
0.3
(0.012)
1.7
(0.067)
4.5
(0.177)
167.6
(6.6)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 270.7 249.4 271.6 277.4 299.1 231.8 155.0 147.7 218.8 283.5 273.3 272.0 2,950.3
Source #1: HKO (1962–1987 normals at Manora)[1], NOAA (sun only 1961–1990 at Jinnah Int'l)[2]
Source #2: PakMet (extremes, 1931–2008)[3]


Factors[edit]

The monsoon and the Western Disturbance are the two main factors which alter the weather over Karachi; otherwise, Continental air prevails for rest of the year. Following are the main factors that alter the weather over Karachi city.

  • Western Disturbances mostly occur during the winter months and cause drizzle to light showers, temperature also decreases due to it.
  • Tropical Storms usually form during the summer months from late April till June and then from late September till November.
  • Southwest Monsoon occurs in summer from the month of July till September. Monsoon rains bring much awaited relief from the scorching summer heat. These monsoon rains are quite heavy by nature and can cause significant flooding.
  • Continental air prevails during the period when there is no precipitation in the metropolis.

Monthly weather conditions[edit]

Like all other cities, Karachi has four seasons, which are Winter, Summer, Autumn and Spring. The monsoon season also occurs in Summer. The following is a monthly summary of climatic conditions in the city.

January[edit]

In the month of January, the cold conditions continue in the city and sometimes get very cold due to the Western Disturbance. Humidity remains low in January. Rains do occur in this month but are moderate in intensity, the sky remains overcast for some part of the month. The highest rainfall during this month was 89.3 millimetres (3.52 in), which occurred in 1995.[3] On 29 January 2011, an intense but short spell of rain lashed all parts of the city, at least 9 millimetres (0.35 in) rainfall was recorded.[4] The lowest temperature of 0.0 °C (32.0 °F) was recorded on 21 January 1934,[3] while the highest temperature of 32.8 °C (91.0 °F) was recorded on 16 January 1965.[3]

Foggy morning in the winter of Karachi.

February[edit]

Until the middle of the month, the cold conditions continue after that the weather becomes mild throughout the month. The sky remains overcast with drizzle or light rain as a result of the Western Disturbance. Humidity remains between 40–60%. The lowest temperature was 3.3 °C (37.9 °F) on 11 February 1950 and the highest was 36.1 °C (97.0 °F) on 25 February 1996.[3] The highest monthly rainfall of 96 millimetres (3.8 in) was recorded in 1979.[3]

March[edit]

Till the beginning of March the weather becomes hot. The lowest temperature ever recorded was 7 °C (45 °F) on 9 March 1979 and the highest was 41.5 °C (106.7 °F) on 2 March 2004.[3] The highest temperature was again recorded in 2010. Being a hot month there is no rain, yet drizzle can occur rarely. March is the annual spring season in Karachi after winter; spring brings beautiful flowers in the city. Many flowers shows are also held in the city in March. A weather system dumped 130 millimetres (5.1 in) rain in 1967, which is March's highest rainfall for the city.[3]

April[edit]

The heat wave of March continues in April as well. Temperatures increase and the weather remains dry and hot. The humidity remains between 65–75%. The highest temperature during April was 44.4 °C (111.9 °F), which was recorded on 16 April 1947, while the lowest temperature of 12.2 °C (54.0 °F) was recorded on 29 April 1967.[3] Rain is rare in this month. The highest monthly rainfall of 52.8 millimetres (2.08 in) was recorded in 1935.[3]

May[edit]

May is the hottest month for Karachi, with temperatures touching 40 °C (104 °F). The hottest May was on 9 May 1938, when temperatures reached 48.8 °C (119.8 °F); the lowest temperature ever recorded was on 4 May 1989 when 17.7 °C (63.9 °F) was recorded.[3] The humidity is quite high in this month as well between 70–80%. The traffic remains low during the afternoon due to intense heat. Rainfall remains rare during this month and the sky remains cloudless. The highest monthly rain that occurred was in May 1933, when 33 millimetres (1.3 in) rain lashed the city.[5] In 1999, 2001 and 2010, three major cyclones were formed that came close to Karachi. The 1999 cyclone (the fourth strongest cyclone of the Arabian Sea) hit close to Karachi, while the 2001 India cyclone (the third strongest cyclone of the Arabian Sea) made landfall near the Indian border. Cyclone Phet was formed in May 2010, about 1100 km away from Karachi. In May 1902, a cyclonic storm struck the coast in the vicinity of Karachi.[6]

June[edit]

Drizzle is common in June as Pre-Monsoon rain.

The temperatures of May continue through June with a slight decrease. The highest temperature of June was 47 °C (117 °F) on 18 June 1979, and the lowest was 22.1 °C (71.8 °F), recorded on 3 June 1997.[3] On 6 June 2010, Cyclone Phet came close to the coast of Karachi as a weak tropical depression, at about 50 km away from the city after a week-long journey. Phet produced a very heavy downpour in the city, which broke the previous record of June 2007. About 152 millimetres (6.0 in) of rain with 35 mph (56 km/h) winds occurred due to Phet.[7] On 7 June 1907, a Cyclone hit Karachi and caused extensive damage.[8]

July[edit]

Monsoon cloud hovering over the city

In the month of July, the monsoon reaches its peak and produces heavy to very heavy rainfall. As in June, the sky remains overcast with only 3 to 4 hours of sunlight a day, with occasional drizzle at night or early morning. Two or three rainstorms that continue for few days are common in this month. The highest July temperature of 42.2 °C (108.0 °F) was recorded on 3 July 1958 and the lowest temperature was 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) on 22 July 1997.[3] The highest monthly rainfall for July was 429.3 mm (16.90 in) in 1967.[3] On 27 July 1944, a cyclone left some 10,000 people homeless in Karachi.[9]

August[edit]

The weather of August is identical to that of July. One or two weather systems lash the city in this month, causing significant flooding. In 2006, after two years of drought (2004 and 2005), widespread rainfall of 77 millimetres (3.0 in) occurred in the city to break the drought period.[10] On 11 August 2007, a very strong tropical depression produced 191 millimetres (7.5 in) in just two days.[11] Rain continued for three days with intense thunderstorms; another monsoon low produced 80 millimetres (3.1 in) of rain on 22 August 2007[12] with 98 mph (158 km/h) winds.[13] The monsoon typically starts to get weak from the last week of August, but still has the potential to cause heavy rains in the city, as on 31 August 2009, when 147 millimetres (5.8 in) of rain was recorded[14] with 106 mph (171 km/h) winds.[15] But history has shown that the monsoon withdraws from Karachi during the final days of August. The highest rainfall for August is 271 millimetres (10.7 in), which occurred in 2007;[16] the highest temperature was 41.7 °C (107.1 °F) on 9 August 1964, while the lowest temperature was 21.0 °C (69.8 °F), recorded on 7 August 1984.[3] The city's highest rainfall in 24 hours also occurred in August, on 7 August 1953, which is about 278.1 millimetres (10.95 in) of rain battered the city.[17]

September[edit]

The first two weeks of September can have some good rains. After the first two weeks, the monsoon completely withdraws from the city, and the sky remains sunny and dry. There is a slight decrease in humidity, which hovers between 70–80%, and an increase in temperatures. Rain in this month is inconsistent. During the monsoon of 2005 no rain occurred in the city raising the fears of drought but from 12 September till 13 September heavy rainfall lashed the city about 80 millimetres (3.1 in) rainfall was recorded.[18][19] From 12 September evening till 13 September afternoon, 2011 a total of 140 millimetres (5.5 in) occurred in the city that caused urban flooding in almost all parts of the city.[20] The highest rainfall for September was 315.7 millimetres (12.43 in) in 1959.[3][5] The highest temperature was 42.2 °C (108.0 °F) on 30 September 1951 and the lowest temperature recorded was 18.2 °C (64.8 °F) on 23 September 1994.[3]

Sunset in Karachi

October[edit]

October is the driest month in the city of Karachi. The highest temperature of 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) was recorded on 1 October 1959 and lowest was 10.0 °C (50.0 °F) recorded on 30 October 1949.[3] Morning is hazy and the winds are calm, the sky remains clear with hot conditions. The highest monthly rainfall for October is 98mm, which occurred in 1959.[3] It is the second hottest month of the year after May. Karachi is considered by some to be a city with two summers. Pre monsoon summer of April-May and post monsoon summer of Sep-Oct. During the year of 2004 the city received no significant rains with the exception of a heavy rain which occurred in October due to Cyclone Onil.

November[edit]

November has warm days and cool nights. Mid-November conditions are much like those of October. During the last weeks of November there is a gradual decrease in temperature and thus winter begins, but it is not that cold. The first weeks of November are typically dry and the last week of November is cold. Showers occur in this month due to the Western Disturbance and causes the temperatures to decrease. On 9 November 2010 remnants of Cyclone Jal caused gusty winds in the metropolis.[21] The highest rainfall for November is 83.1 millimetres (3.27 in), which occurred in 1959.[3] The highest and lowest temperatures are 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) recorded on 2 November 1994 and 6.1 °C (43.0 °F) recorded on 29 November 1938 respectively.[3]

December[edit]

The month of December is the annual winter month, but winter becomes more chilly in January. In December the weather remains cool. The sky remains cloudy for part of the month, causing temperatures to decrease. Rainfalls are common in the city during the month of December due to the western disturbance coming from the Mediterranean sea. The highest monthly rainfall of 63.6 millimetres (2.50 in) was recorded in 1980.[3] During December 2006 a strong westerly "low" pressure resulted in 60.5 millimetres (2.38 in) of rain in the city.[22] The highest recorded temperature for December was 34.5 °C (94.1 °F) on 11 December 2001 and the lowest temperature was 1.3 °C (34.3 °F), which occurred on 14 December 1986.[3]

Monsoon precipitation in Karachi[edit]

The average annual rainfall for Karachi is 200 millimetres (7.9 in); the highest annual rainfall of 713 millimetres (28.1 in) was recorded in 1967.[3] Annual monsoon rains for Karachi amount to 146.5 millimetres (5.77 in). The city experienced above-normal monsoon rainfalls in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011, while in 2004 and 2005 the city received below-normal rainfall. In 2009 the country received 30% below normal rainfall with the exception of Sindh, including Karachi, which received above normal monsoon rains.[23] Karachi has seen record-breaking rainfalls during monsoon season since 2003 with the exception of 2004 and 2005. Following is the annual monsoon rainfall for the last few years based on data from the Pakistan Meteorological Department.[24]

Monsoon precipitation in Karachi
Monsoon begins from June till September
Precipitation
Year (mm) (in) References
2000 0.1 mm 0 inches [25]
2001 63.1 mm 2.41 inches [25][26]
2002 123.1 mm 4.84 inches [27][28]
2003 355.2 mm 13.98  inches [29]
2004 35 mm 1.37 inches [30]
2005 80.6 mm 3.17  inches [19][31]
2006 236.7 mm 9.32 inches [31]
2007 421 mm 16.6 inches [24][31]
2008 91.5 mm 3.60 inches [31]
2009 439.2 mm 17.29 inches [14][32][33][34][35][36]
2010 741.9 mm 29.21 inches [7][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53]
2011 436.5 mm 11.51 inches [54][55][56]
2012 133.9 mm 11.51 inches [57][58]
2013 179.1 mm 3.94 inches As of August 8, 2013[59]

Pakistan Meteorological Departments in Karachi[edit]

  • Institute of Meteorology & Geophysics – IMG (Training Center) Karachi
  • National Seismic Monitoring and Tsunami Early warning Center, Karachi
  • Climate Data Processing Center, Karachi
  • Tropical Cyclone Warning Center, Karachi
  • National Seismic Monitoring Center, Karachi
  • Directorate of Maintenance, Karachi
  • Directorate of Forecasting and Climatology, Karachi
  • Regional Met. Centers: Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Climatological Information for Karachi, Pakistan". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  2. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for KARACHI (AIRPORT) 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Karachi (During 1931-2008)". Pakistan Meteorological Department. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  4. ^ City receives 9 mm rainfall, forecast for drizzle. GEO.tv (29 January 2011). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Karachi. Pakmet.com.pk. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  6. ^ Cyclone History for Karachi
  7. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  8. ^ The Straits Times, 8 June 1907, Page 7 CYCLONE AT KARACHI
  9. ^ Living with disasters
  10. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  11. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  12. ^ Heavy rains affect academic activities, 23 Aug – 2007. Interface.edu.pk. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  13. ^ History : Weather Underground. Wunderground.com (22 August 2007). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  14. ^ a b Government Of Pakistan. Pakmet.com.pk. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  15. ^ History : Weather Underground. Wunderground.com (30 August 2009). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  16. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  17. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  18. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  19. ^ a b Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  20. ^ Up to 140mm of rainfall in less than 24 hours | Metropolitan. Dawn.Com (14 September 2011). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  21. ^ http://dawnnews.tv/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/gusty-winds-lash-city-010[dead link]
  22. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  23. ^ http://www.pakmet.com.pk/monsoon2009ver.pdf
  24. ^ a b Pakistan Meteorological Department. Pakmet.com.pk (5 October 2010). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  25. ^ a b Karachi News. Karachipage.com (11 July 2001). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  26. ^ Karachi News. Karachipage.com (13 July 2001). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  27. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  28. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  29. ^ http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/OCHA-64C4RG?OpenDocument
  30. ^ Archive. Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  31. ^ a b c d Usual cycle of monsoons expected this year: Met. Pakrealestatetimes.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  32. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/karachi-light-rain-disrupts-power-supply-669
  33. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/karachi-thunderstorm-forecast-879
  34. ^ [2][dead link]
  35. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/karachi-heavy-rains-forecast-579
  36. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/karachi-35mm-of-rain-recorded%2C-more-forecast-189
  37. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/premonsoon-showers-lash-karachi-670[dead link]
  38. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/humidity-rises-as-showers-lash-city-770
  39. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/16-two-children-drown%2C-man-dies-from-electrocution-as-rain-lashes-karachi-870-hs-01[dead link]
  40. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/scattered-showers-lash-city-470
  41. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/16-rains-lash-karachi-770-hs-02
  42. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/16-showers-forecast-870-hs-01
  43. ^ rainfall recorded%2C more forecast[dead link]
  44. ^ rain spell triggers prolonged traffic jams 880
  45. ^ met-office-forecasts-two-more-days-of-rain
  46. ^ 19 heavy rain lashes parts of city
  47. ^ "light rain in parts of city". Dawn.
  48. ^ "city gets drizzle". Dawn.
  49. ^ "scattered-showers-in-city"
  50. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/more-rain-forecast-after-scattered-showers-090
  51. ^ more-rain-forecast[dead link]
  52. ^ "Heavy rain lashes Karachi". Karachi Digest. (11 September 2010). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  53. ^ Karachi receives heavy rainfall" AAJ News]. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  54. ^ "First monsoon showers in Karachi". Dawn.Com (27 July 2011). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  55. ^ marine_forecast. Pakmet.com.pk. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  56. ^ http://www.pakmet.com.pk/FFD/index_files/daily/rainfallsep1.htm
  57. ^ http://namc.pmd.gov.pk/fog.php?type=f&page=46
  58. ^ http://www.pmd.gov.pk/FFD/index_files/daily/rainfalljul12.htm
  59. ^ http://www.pmd.gov.pk/FFD/index_files/daily/rainfalljun13.htm

External links[edit]