The Hygrothermal Regime of Pakistan

The climate of Pakistan, in general is continental, except a narrow coastal strip near Arabian Sea which has marine climate. The climate of Pakistan can, broadly be divided into the following hygrothermal regimes.

The Thermal Regimes

Hot summer and mild winter

This is the biggest thermal regime present in Pakistan and covers whole of the upper and lower Indus plain as well as the Potwar plateau. The summers are hot with mean temperature of the hottest month exceeding 85 F while the winters are mild with mean temperature of the coolest month not dropping below 50 F.

Warm summers and mild winters

This zone consists of a narrow coastal belt adjoin the Arabian Sea. The proximity to sea keeps the mean temperature of the hottest month around 80 F but not exceeding 85 and the same proximity prevents the winter temperatures of the coolest month from falling below 50 F.

Mild summers and cool winters

These temperatures are experienced in the North western mountains, the Baluchistan plateau and in the outer Himalayas adjoin Islamabad. The summers are mild with mean temperature of the hottest month not exceeding 70 F while the winter are cool with mean temperature of the coolest month 40 F or less but not dropping below 32 F.

Cool summer and Cold Winter

These includes the region that contains the high peaks of the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayan Ranges. The stations located in this thermal zone have an arctic climate. The average summer temperatures do not exceed 50 F while the average temperature of the coldest month is below 32 F.

The hygro Regime

As far the rainfall is concerned, the country can broadly be divided into the following zones.

Very Low rainfall Zone

This zone has a total annual rainfall of less than 10 inches. The monsoon does not affect this zone neither does the western disturbance have any appreciable effect. These includes extreme west of Baluchistan; typical station being Nokkundi and the Thar and Cholistan deserts of Sind and Punjab respectively.

Low Rainfall Zone

This zone include the areas with total annual rainfall between 10 and 25 inches. This includes almost whole of Baluchistan Plateau excluding the Nokkundi area that lies in extreme west near Iran boarder, Whole of Sind excluding the Thar Desert and Punjab excluding the Piedmont plains and Potwar plateau and includes the arid northern parts of Pakistan including Gilgit and Skardu.

Moderate Rainfall Zone

This zone receives reliable rainfall throughout the year.The rainfall is between 25 to 50 inches. These includes a narrow strip of land that includes the Piedmont plains of Gujranwala division, the Rawalpindi and Hazara division excluding the hill stations and the Parachinar area of Safed koh mountains.

The High Rainfall Zone

This consists of a very small area containing of hill stations of Punjab, KPK and Kashmir. The rainfall is abundant; more than 50 inches annually; and enough to support thick forests. Murree, Nathiagali, Rawalakot and Muzaffarabad are typical stations of the zone.

In short, Pakistan shows a highly diverse hygrothermal regime with rich variety of temperature and rainfall zones.