KARACHI / ISLAMABAD: The Met Department on Sunday predicted that the metropolis may record its lowest temperature in seven years today as a wave of cold across the country and cities is likely to get more severe starting next week.
In 2013, Karachi recorded a minimum temperature of 6 ° C. Another cold wave is expected to hit the city in January and, according to the Met Department, it could rain in Karachi from January 6-7.
A new wave of westerly winds has entered the country causing cold temperatures in Karachi to increase from Monday to Friday. Additionally, strong winds are likely to blow in the city from Sunday. The Meteorological Office said that the weather is expected to drop to the single digits in Karachi.
On the other hand, the M2, Lahore to Islamabad, Pindi Bhattian, and M3 Toll Roads from Lahore to Nankana Sahib were closed due to fog. Meanwhile, snowfall near the Murree and Galiyat areas caused bitter cold in Islamabad and its suburbs on Sunday.
Cool winds coupled with cloudy weather and thick fog swept through the area both during the day and at night, forcing people to spend most of their time indoors during the weekends. Some, however, go out for soup and tea and have snacks and fried fish. Low gas pressure and gas outages were reported in several areas, adding to residents’ problems.
According to the Meteorological Office, rain was likely to fall in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and surrounding areas on Monday morning. It predicts more snowfall in Murree, Galiyat, Swat, Kohistan, and parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Weather experts say cold conditions are likely to grip the upper part of the country, while foggy conditions will increase in the country’s plains with frost in the Potohar region and surrounding areas after rain.
On Sunday, the Meteorological Office recorded three degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature in Islamabad with 69 percent humidity and zero degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature at the nearby Murree hill station with 70 percent humidity.
In Lahore, foggy weather followed by rain was brewing in the city on Sunday while the Met office predicted similar weather conditions over the next 24 hours. It started raining early in the morning and continued late into the night. The rain added to the coldness in the air, forcing most residents to stay indoors. Rain disrupted traffic movement on most of the provincial capital’s main roads. Major roads such as Ferozpur Road, Multan Road, Egerton Road, Main Boulevard Gulberg, The Mall, Canal Bank Road, Raiwind Road and others witness the movement of traffic at a snail’s pace.
Meanwhile, thousands of picnic lovers and tourists, including women and children, flock to Landikotal to enjoy the snow that has continued for the past 24 hours. Residents say the year’s first snowfall broke a 30-year record and covered entire hills and plains with white sheets. According to the Met’s office, the plains receive at least one foot while the hills receive two feet of snowfall.
Children and women are seen playing and having fun in various places in Landikotal on Pak-Afghan Highway. Although most shops are closed in Landikotal market, shops offering fast food, Kabab, BBQ and tea remain fully open with tourists.
Meanwhile, the roads at various points were jammed due to the unexpected roar of vehicles and heavy snowfall. “Heavy snowfall broke records for the last 30 years. Snow covers the hills and plains of Landikotal, ”said a local journalist.
Chaudhry Aslam from the city of Attock came to Landikotal with his two children and his wife to enjoy the snow. A large number of visitors, mostly young people from Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan and other places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have arrived in Landikotal to enjoy the snowfall.
Muhammad Habib from Regi Lalma in Peshawar said they planned to visit Murree together with their cousins and friends, but when they saw the video clips and pictures of Landikotal’s snowfall, they changed their minds and came to Landikotal.
However, he said the lack of facilities reduced their enthusiasm. He said they were unable to make phone calls to friends using social media apps due to poor internet reception. Meanwhile, residents complained that the electricity supply to all of Landikotal had been cut off since the beginning of the snow. People were seen buying firewood for preparing meals and warming themselves in the freezing cold.
Local elder Zarawar Khan, 65, who lives in the Walikhel area of Landikotal where temperatures have never fallen to minus degrees before, said it was the first time in his life that he had seen snow falling in his home. He says snow fell on hill top in the past.
Officials met said the western wave was present in the upper part of the country and might stay at the top until Monday. They predict cold and dry weather in most parts of the country. Rain and snow are expected in upper Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, and the adjacent hilly areas. They added that heavy fog was most likely in central / southern Punjab and upper Sindh.
The lowest minimum temperature on Sunday was recorded in Leh where mercury fell to -14 ° C while in Lahore it was 4.8 ° C and a maximum of 12.6 ° C. Meanwhile, the schedules of some Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights have been affected due to conditions bad weather across the country, it comes on Sunday.
According to a PIA spokesman, different flight schedules had to be changed after heavy fog hit several cities in Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and surrounding areas.
The spokesman added that more flights were expected to be rescheduled due to fog. Domestic flights will resume operations once visibility on the runway is confirmed, the spokesman added. “On the other hand, international flights will land at alternative airports.”
Previously, 19 domestic and international flights had to be canceled at Allama Iqbal International Airport due to heavy fog. In addition, 16 flights have been delayed to avoid an unwanted situation.