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LAHORE: Extremely cold and dry Siberian wind affected plain areas of the country on Saturday whereas its upper parts continued to receive intermittent light rain and snowfall.

The Met department said the current cold wave would continue till Jan 31. Afterwards a moderate fresh westerly wave would start giving rain over the upper parts of the country, also generating another round of some good snowfall over the tops of the hills. This rain and snow spell would reduce the impact of the cold wind.

Met Director Ajmal Shad said the wind from Siberia followed the strong westerly wave that gave widespread rain and snowfall in the country early this week. It was appearing very cold because of its dryness. “January is always the coldest month in Pakistan, showing record lowest minimum temperatures,” he said.

He said a fresh westerly wave was expected to enter the country on Jan 31/Feb 1 which would give light and scattered rain and snowfall initially in Balochistan. But it would mainly affect upper parts of the country including KP, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Murree and surrounding areas.

The system would give light to moderate rainfall also in Rawalpindi and snowfall, heavy at places, over the hills for at least two to three days. Gujranwala and Lahore might also record light rain/drizzle. Temperatures would improve a bit in the plains of the country because of humidity in the air, he said.

Meanwhile, Malamjabba recorded 8 inch of snowfall, Kalam 4, Balakot 3, Mirkhani 2, Muzaffarabad 6, and Garidupatta 2.

Skardu’s minimum temperature was -16 degrees C, its lowest so far during the current winter. It was followed by Kalam, Bagrote -11, Astore -10, Gupis, Malamjabba -9, Kalat -7, Parachinar, Hunza, Quetta -5, Murree -4, Mirkhani, Dir, Drosh, Kakul -3, Chitral, Gilgit, Rawalakot, Zhob, Dalbandin -2, Bunji and Muzaffarabad -1.

The Met department forecast mainly cold and dry weather in most parts of the country on Sunday. However, cloudy weather with light rain is also expected in Makran coast and Karachi division during morning hours. Foggy conditions are likely in plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during night and morning hours.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2019