Light to moderate intensity rain lashes twin cities, reduces fog

By Asim Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Light to moderate intensity rain lashing different parts of the country including the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Wednesday has subsided the foggy weather conditions and turned the weather cold.
After the westerly wave entered north Balochistan on Tuesday, the rain started on Wednesday morning in the twin cities as per the forecast of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and continued with gaps till the present, decreasing the temperatures significantly.
The cold weather has compelled the citizens to stay indoors most of the time and wear warm and cozy clothes to prevent themselves from seasonal diseases, especially cough and influenza.
The rain after long dry weather conditions during this winter season will also improve the air quality for the sensitive groups by reducing the level of pollutants in the air.
The consistent rain has also increased the demand for popular winter season delights like chicken corn soup, doodh jalebi, gajar ka halwa, kashmiri tea, samosas, pakoras, fried fish, dry fruits, etc.
The snowfall accompanied by the rain spell in different hilly areas is attracting a number of tourists who are visiting these areas to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the season.
According to the PMD, the westerly wave affecting the upper parts of the country is likely to persist till Friday afternoon.
On Thursday, the met office indicated chances of rain and snowfall in Islamabad, Potohar region, Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and upper Punjab.
Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rain with snowfall over the hills is likely in Murree, Galiyat, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The intensity of fog will be decreased in plain areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and upper Sindh.
During the last 24 hours, cold and cloudy weather prevailed over most parts of the country. However, rain occurred in north/west Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, central and south Punjab, and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, snowfall was also recorded in Kalam and Malam Jabba while foggy conditions prevailed in plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh.
The rainfall recorded till Wednesday morning was Balochistan: Quetta (Samungli 27 mm, Sheikh Manda 02), Kalat 12; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Pattan 07, Kalam 06, Parachinar 05, Dir (Upper 04, Lower 03), Malam Jabba 04, Chitral, Saidu Sharif, Bannu 02, Balakot, Kakul, Drosh 01; and Kashmir: Garhi Dupatta 01mm. The snowfall was recorded in Kalam (03 inches) and Malam Jabba (02 inches).
About the possible impacts of rain, the met office has earlier warned that the heavy snowfall may disrupt and cause the closure of roads in Murree, Galiyat, Naran, Kaghan, Dir, Swat, Kohistan, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Shangla, Astore, Hunza, Skardu, Neelum valley, Bagh, Poonch, and Haveli till January 13.

The possibility of landslides in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan cannot be ruled out, the met office said while advising the tourists to remain extra cautious during the spell.

However, the rain will be beneficial for the standing crops, particularly in parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The rain will decrease the temperatures significantly and also subside the foggy conditions during the forecast period.

The met office has advised all the authorities concerned to remain alert to avoid any untoward situation during the period.