PESHAWAR, Jan 7: Thick fog and chilly weather paralysed life in the provincial capital on Monday with the maximum temperature reaching eight degrees Celsius fourth time in 40 years.
“The minimum temperature remained 8.3 degrees Celsius during the day, while the minimum temperature was recorded at zero degrees Celsius,” Mushtaq Ali Shah, director at the Met Office in Peshawar, told Dawn.
Mr Shah said the 8.3 degrees Celsius temperature was previously recorded in January of 1996, 2005 and 2011 and it was the fourth time in four decades that such low temperature was recorded during daytime.
“The cold wave and fog is likely to persist for the next three days in provincial capital,” said Mr Shah.
Due to foggy conditions in Peshawar and other parts of the province on the cold day, Peshawar-Islamabad section of MI Motorway was closed to traffic between Peshawar and Burhand Interchange in the evening.
SSP of MI Tahir Khan told Dawn that the motorway between Peshawar and Islamabad was closed to traffic because there was thick fog making the road unsafe for traveling. “If there is no urgent need to travel, then the people should avoid using motorway but if it is necessary, then General Trunk Road should be used,” he said.
The SSP urged motorway users to keep speed of vehicles lower than normal, use fog lights for visibility, fix reflecting tape on bumpers and keep headlights on low beam. He said before using motorway, motorists should call 130 Helpline to get information about road safety and weather. “It will be better to call our helpline before planning to travel in such weather,” said Mr Tahir.
The thick fog, which engulfed the provincial capital, also adversely affected arrival and departure of flights at Bacha Khan International Airport.
Pakistan International Airlines cancelled three domestic flights, Shaheen Air two, Airblue two and Naas Air one over low visibility, while Saudi Airways, too, cancelled one of its international flights.
The low gas pressure added to the misery of the people at home, workplaces and CNG stations.
In the city, where weather is usually not that chilly during daytime in the winter season, the people were seen wearing woolies and caps to protect themselves against the biting cold.