RAWALPINDI: Dense fog enveloped Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Tuesday morning, disturbing train schedules and flight operations.

The fog started creeping into the cities on Monday night and prevailed till 10:30am during which visibility dropped to zero to 10 metres in patches, affecting flights at Islamabad International Airport (IIA).

“The visibility improved after 10:30am and many early morning flights were rescheduled,” an airport official said, adding that two flights to Gilgit – PK-601 and PK-605 – and PK-325 scheduled to depart for Quetta at 10:15am and PF-151 to Peshawar at 10am had to be canceled.

The early morning fog also dropped the temperature and enhanced severity of the cold wave, adding to problems of the residents already facing shortage of natural gas. Due to the cold weather, the pressure of gas dropped further in many areas of the twin cities.

An official of the Pakistan Meteorological Department said temperature in the capital and the garrison city was recorded at 5°C on Tuesday, with rain expected on Wednesday.

The Met Office said a westerly wave was affecting northwestern Balochistan and likely to grip upper parts of the country on Wednesday.

Rain/snow is expected in northwestern Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, upper Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. Dense fog is likely to prevail in plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh.

The Met Office also issued an advisory for tourists and said rain with light to moderate snowfall is expected in Murree, Nathiagali, Naran, Kaghan, Neelum valley, Rawalakot, Muzaffarabad, Hunza, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Chitral, Dir, Kalam and Malamjabba from Wednesday to Friday.

Five inch snowfall was recorded in Skardu, four inch in Bagrote, three inch in Astore, two inch in Gupis and one inch each in one inch Malam Jabba and Hunza.

The lowest minimum temperature recorded on Tuesday was in Leh -11°C, Gupis -8°C, Bagrote, Hunza, Kalam -5°C, Malam Jabba, Astore, Skardu -4°C, Parachinar -3°C, Mirkhani (Chitral) and Ziarat -1°C.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2022

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