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LAHORE: Light, but widespread rain and snowfall over the hills — that was very heavy in Malamjabba — took winter to its peak on Saturday, clearing the atmosphere and setting a cold wave across the country.

The rain also cleared fog that had been disrupting life in the plains of the country for around a week. Some cities in south Punjab however witnessed shallow fog that did not hamper traffic flow.

The minimum temperature at night improved slightly because of the cloud cover, but the maximum dropped during the day, bringing out true colours of winter – cloudy, rainy, cold and breezy.

Lahore received intermittent showers from the early hours of Saturday through almost the entire day, dropping maximum temperature to 15.2 degrees Celsius. The minimum was 4.8 at the airport on Friday night.

The immediate impact of the showers was clearing of the polluted air of which settled dust on automobile windscreens was a proof.

The Met department reported that Malamjabba recorded 49mm of rain, Dir (upper 17, lower 15), Kalam 16, Saidu Sharif, Balakot 12, Parachinar 10, Mirkhani 8, Kakul 6, Drosh and Chitral 3, Muzaffarabad 14, Garidupatta 13, Rawalakot 8, Kotli 7, Skardu 11, Hunza and Gilgit 3, Sialkot (AP 9, city 6), Murree and Narowal 9, Mangla 6, Hafizabad 5, Islamabad (Golra 5), Rawalpindi 4, Kamra, Gujranwala, Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin 3, Lahore 2 and Jhelum 1.

Malamjabba received two-foot snow, Kalam 8 inches, Skardu 4.5, Murree 3.5, and Dir 1 inch.

The minimum temperature in Astore and Skardu was -8 degrees Celsium, -7 in Bagrote and Gupis, -6 Hunza and Kalam, Drosh -4, Parachinar, Malamjabba and Dir -3, Gilgit -2, Rawalakot, Bunji and Murree -1.

Mainly very cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country in the next 24 hours. However, more rain-thunderstorm with snow over the hills is expected at isolated places in Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and its adjoining hilly areas.

Foggy conditions are expected in south Punjab and upper Sindh during the morning hours of Sunday.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2019