LAHORE: Rain and strong wind brought in by a westerly wave on Tuesday almost cleared Punjab of smog, affecting it for the past three weeks, providing a great relief to people.
Rain in Lahore was light but strong wind that had been blowing since early in the morning swept away pollution and fog that had attained alarming proportions in the last two days. There was a marked improvement in air quality as the pall of smog hanging over the city was dissipated.
Smog is developing over Punjab by the end of October and early November since last year due to use of dirty fuel by steel re-rolling mills like plastic and condemned tyres, vehicular emissions, dust from development projects and burning of crop residue mainly in Indian Punjab.
Quiet receding easterly wind from India and dry weather are other contributors.
And it has been washed away by the first winter rain and swept away by westerly wind that moved towards India.
The Met department reported that the westerly wave was affecting upper and central parts of the country and might persist till Thursday. Bringing in strong gusty winds, the system gave rain over Balcohistan, central and south Punjab and adjoining Sindh. Rain was light but nevertheless cleared smog, and for the time being fog.
Zhob in Balochistan received 23mm of rain, Barkhan 8, Quetta 3. Layyah in Punjab recorded 16mm of rain, Bhakkar 15, Dera Ghazi Khan 12, Kot Addu 11, Khanpur 9, Shorkot, Chakwal, Noorpurthal 8, Jhang 7, Islamabad( Airport 7, Zero Point 4) Multan, Kamra, Mandi Bahauddin 6, Mangla 4, Bahawalpur, Kasur , Murree, Sargodha 3, Toba Tek Singh, Rohri, Joharabad, Gujranwala 2, Lahore 1.
KPK’s Risalpur recorded 30mm, Dera Ismail Khan 14, Bannu, Cherat 5, Kohat 2 and Kashmir’s Kotli 3, Sindh’s Jacobabad 6, Moenjodaro 4, Larkana 3 and Rohri and Sukkur 2.
More rain-thunderstorm with snowfall over the hills is expected at scattered places in KP, FATA, Islamabad, upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sargodha divisions), Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the next 24 hours. Dense foggy conditions are likely in plain areas of Punjab.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2017