ISLAMABAD: Chilly winds from the north and northwest are expected to bring severely cold weather to the capital in the early hours of Friday, but despite a wave of rainfall from Sunday there is little chance of snow over the Margalla Hills.

The Met Office has said that continental air is prevailing in most of the country, and a shallow westerly wave still present in the northern areas is moving eastward.

Under the impact of this wave, light rainfall and snow is expected in isolated locations in the Malakand and Hazara divisions and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, dropping the minimum temperature in Islamabad to 1°C.

Some parts of Murree tehsil also received light snowfall on Wednesday, which will continue during the night. The minimum temperature in the hill city under these conditions was -2°C.

A Met Office official said cloudy conditions over Rawalpindi, Islamabad and nearby areas would clear by noon on Thursday, making it colder.

“The temperature is higher whenever there is cloud cover, and the clear sky allows shallow winds to move over that area,” the official said.

The official added that Murree and regions further north are in the grip of severely cold weather, and winds coming from the north and northwest carry the chill along with them.

The Met Office has predicted that temperatures in Islamabad could fall to 0°C to -1°C during the night between Thursday and Friday.

However it has also said that the chances of snowfall in the capital are negligible, as conditions on Friday will remain dry.

Rain-bearing clouds are expected to reach the country from the northwest on Saturday and descend on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad and parts of north Punjab from Sunday.

Currently, cold and dry weather is expected in central and southern parts of the country, as a result of which foggy conditions will remain dominant in a few places in the plains of Punjab and upper Sindh.

The coldest part of the country was Skardu with temperatures reaching -14°C, followed by other parties of GB and Kalam at -6°C, Hunza and Drosh at -4°C and Malamjabba and Dir reaching -3°C.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2019