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Months of dry spell over as country receives first snowfall of season

PESHAWAR/GILGIT/LAHORE: Light rain showers and scattered snowfall broke an inordinately long stretch of dry weather in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its adjacent tribal areas on Tuesday as a severe cold wave gripped Pakistan’s hilly areas.

Gilgit-Baltistan’s highlands received their first snowfall of the season, putting to rest residents’ fears of a possible water shortage in the coming summer.

The dry spell, which had persisted for over three months, finally gave way on Tuesday as the Peshawar Met Office forecast light rains for the province’s southern region and moderate rain and snowfall in the central and northern parts of KP on Wednesday-Thursday.

Lowari Top, connecting parts of KP with Chitral, has been closed for traffic due to snowfall.
Lahore experiences one of its ‘dirtiest’ days

The mercury dipped below zero degree Celsius in the hilly areas of the province and in Fata. The lowest temperature — minus four degrees Celsius — was recorded in Parachinar, the administrative headquarters of Kurram Agency.

The temperature plummeted as low as -12 to -14 in some parts of Gilgit-Baltistan. Hunza, Nagar, Ghizer, Diamer and Ghanche experienced the first snowfall of the season. The Met Office has forecast snowfall in these areas for the next three days.

Air pollution hits new high

Tuesday was one of the dirtiest days Lahore has had despite a brief drizzle in some parts of the city, a senior official of the Environment Protection Department said. “The level of respirable particulate matter is too high to be considered tolerable,” he said.

As light rain fell in some parts of the city, it was expected that this would settle down pollutants and provide relief to a large number of people suffering from fever, respiratory ailments and sore throat.

Officials said these pollutants were the result of unregulated digging for various development projects and burning highly polluting fuel in factories producing metal bars for it.

“Heavy rain can settle pollutants but temporarily. And there is no hope of any such downpour at the moment,” a Met official said.

The Met department said a westerly wave has entered the country and will produce light snowfall and intermittent rain and thunderstorm in northeastern parts of Punjab and northern parts of the country till Saturday. However, it will not have a positive impact on Punjab’s water-starved crops.

courtesy : dawn news

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