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    Monsoon Plays Catch-up in Pakistan, North West India

    September 13, 2012, 5:57:48 AM EDT

    --Rains Strike in the "Eleventh Hour"

    Rains came late to the northwestern Subcontinent, making up in intensity for what they lacked in timeliness.

    While needed and welcomed by many, the rains also brought woe, leaving at least 78 people dead and thousands homeless, according to dawn.com and other media reports.


    400x266_09131436_ap659515244106

    The South West Monsoon can bring a curse along with its blessing. Here, residents of Dera Ghazi Khan wade through flood waters as they recover belongings (AP Photo/Saleem Raza).


    While July and August, the wettest two months of the rain-giving South West Monsoon, saw little to no rain, the normally drier month of September has seen torrential rain.

    Some rainfall records have been broken, according to media reports.

    July-August rainfall in Karachi, Sindh, was only 9.3 mm (0.37 of an inch), according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) website. Normal rainfall for the period would be 126 mm (4.96 inches), so the two months had only 7 percent of normal rainfall.

    In September, however, monthly rainfall to date, as of Sept. 13, swelled to 125.1 mm (4.92 inches), versus normal monthly rainfall of only 10.1 mm (0.40 inch), as shown on the PMD website.

    Thus, seasonal rainfall in the sea-side desert city reached 134.4 mm (5.29 inches), which is 99 percent of the normal three-month amount.

    Far more dramatic results were to be found elsewhere in the region centered upon Sindh.

    Jacobabad, Sindh, had only 3.2 mm (0.13 of an inch) during July and August, which is normally its wettest two-month stretch. On average, about 68 mm (2.68 inches) of rain falls during these two months, the PMD indicate, so Jacobabad got only 5 percent of its normal rainfall.

    Then the heavens opened in September, dumping a record-breaking rainfall of 304 mm (11.98 inches) within 24 hours and 448 mm (17.64 inches) over two days, PMD data show.

    Factoring in normal September rainfall of 11 mm (0.43 inch), it can be seen that rainfall this month to date has been 4,370 percent of September's normal amount.

    Rainfall for the summer monsoon? Crunching the numbers, that would be 611 percent of normal.

    India's driest region during the core Monsoon months of July and August was the state of Gujarat, especially the peninsula of Kathiawar and the border region of Kutch.

    Bhuj, in Kutch, had only 2 percent of its normal July-August rainfall, data accessed by AccuWeather.com showed.

    September, however, has brought at least 192 mm (7.55 inches), more than 500 percent of normal September rainfall. Seasonal rainfall.

    The result of the September downpours is that Bhuj now has 72 percent of its normal July-September rainfall.

    Rajkot, Kathiawar, has seen its seasonal (June-September) rainfall rise from 39 percent of normal amount to 66 percent of normal, since the start of this month.

    --Where from Here? The Outlook.

    Satellite imagery shows that most of Pakistan became rain-free on Thursday, exception being hit-or-miss thunderstorms.

    Going forward, only widely separated thunderstorms are indicated by numerical though at least the end of the week in Sindh, nearby Baluchistan, and, by extension, the borderlands of Gujarat and Rajashthan, India. This should not come as a surprise, as the dry season is looming.

    Punjab and areas along the northeastern mountains will still be prone to scattered cloudbursts through at least the first part of next week.

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    andrews