Claim: News reports claim that the temperature is likely to drop to 3°C during the current cold wave in Karachi. Rumours circulating that the metropolis will witness its coldest day in the past 100 years. 

Fact: According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), temperatures are predicted to fall to 6°C, at the lowest, not 3°C. Moreover, Karachi witnessed 0°C on January 21, 1934 – the coldest day in the city’s recorded history. Even if the temperature were to drop to 3°C, it would not be the coldest day in the past century. 

Karachi has been experiencing unusually cold weather this winter as Siberian winds hit Southern parts of the port city. Residents are concerned as temperatures have dropped as low as 9°C. 

On January 14, 2020, rumours, supplemented by news reports, spread on social media claiming that the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) announced that temperatures in Karachi will drop as low as 3°C and the city will witness its coldest day in the last 100 years. One of the original sources of this misinformation is an article posted by propakistani.

PMD Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz told Soch, “Technically it is not correct to say Karachi will experience its coldest day in the last 100 years. The lowest temperature recorded was 0°C on  January 21, 1934. Social media has made a big deal of this.Today the minimum temperature is 7.5°C and this will probably prevail till January 24 or 25. Temperatures may drop to 6°C.” In fact from January 19, there is likely to be a rising trend with the lowest temperature falling between 10°C to 12°C each day, he added.

PMD’s data – available on their website – corroborates that on January 21, 1934, mercury dropped as low as  0°C, and this was the coldest day in Karachi’s recorded history. 

Summary: According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, temperatures in Karachi are predicted to fall as low as 6°C, not 3°C. Furthermore, Karachi’s coldest recorded day was January 21, 1934 when temperatures dropped to 0°C.

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