LAHORE/QUETTA: A strong westerly wave caused widespread showers across the country along with snowfall over the hills, breaking a long dry spell in Balochistan and bringing the temperature further down on Sunday.
The meteorological department reported snowfall over the hills in northern areas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Balochistan. Except the areas of lower Sindh, most parts of the country received showers during the day.
The well-marked westerly wave, which entered Pakistan through Afghanistan on Saturday, is likely to persist till Tuesday with the potential to bring moderate to heavy rains to the plains to the delight of wheat growers. It is also likely to cause heavy snowfall over the hills.
The highest snowfall totals reported thus far include 13-inch snowfall in Kalam and 9-inch snowfall in neighbouring Malamjabba, while the highest rainfall in the country was recorded in Pasni (28 millimetres), followed by Dir (26mm), Pattan (21mm), and Kalam and Khuzdar (19mm).
Westerly wave to persist till Tuesday
Other areas that received showers included Mirkhani (18mm), Malamjabba (17mm), Chitral (16mm), Drosh (13mm), Ormara 10, Quetta (Samungli 9, City 6), Kalat and Balakot (7mm), Lower Dir, Gujrat and Jaccobabad (6mm), Parachinar, Skardu, Rawalakot, Saidu Sharif and Sargodha (5mm), Chillas, Bagrote and Jhang (4mm), Murree, Garhi Dupatta, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Lasbela and Zhob (3mm), Sialkot, Gujranwala, Mianwali, Layyah, Mangla, Jhelum, Kakul and Hunza (2mm), Barkhan, Sibi and Toba Tek Singh (1mm). It drizzled in some localities of Lahore and Faisalabad.
Our Quetta office reported that rain along with hailstorm and snowfall in parts of northern and central Balochistan broke the long dry spell that created drought-like conditions in at least 20 districts.
Heavy snowfall disrupted normal life and traffic in some northern parts of Balochistan. In Quetta and its surroundings, rainwater flooded many localities. Low gas pressure and power breakdowns were two other problems faced by residents.
Rain in the Quetta valley began in the early hours of the day. Snow capped the surrounding mountains soon afterwards. Heavy snowfall was also reported in Ziarat.
Other cities and towns of northern Balochistan, including Qila Saifullah, Muslim Bagh, Kan Mehtarzai, Khanozai, Sanjavi, Khojak Pass, Barshor, Toba Achakzai, Toba Kakari, Qila Abdullah, Gulistan, Pishin and Zhob, also received showers and snowfall. Traffic remained suspended on the Quetta-Qila Saifullah highway and was affected between Duki and Sanjavi areas due to the bad weather.
Hill resort Harboi near Kalat received heavy snowfall. Nushki received heavy rains and hill torrents flooded Mal and Daak areas of Nushki. Farmers considered rain and snowfall a blessing.
Meanwhile, temperatures dropped to sub-zero levels in several rain-hit areas. The lowest minimum temperature was recorded in Gupis and Bagrote, where it dropped to seven degrees below freezing point.
The Met Office expected widespread rain in Malakand (with snowfall over hills), Hazara, Mardan, Quetta, Zhob divisions, Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Rain at scattered places has been forecast for Lahore, Kalat, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Dera Ghazi Khan, Peshawar and Hyderabad divisions. Showers at isolated places in Sibbi, Naseerabad, Makran, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Faisalabad, Lahore, Multan, Karachi, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Larkana divisions have also been predicted late Sunday night and on Monday.