ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Metrological Department predicted that the westerly wave, affecting Balochistan and Sindh, is expected to grip upper parts of the country and is likely to persist till Wednesday. More snowfall is expected in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata Sunday (today).
In next 24 hours rain-thunderstorm with snowfall over the hills is expected at a number of places in Balochistan, at scattered places in Islamabad, KP, Punjab, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.
An active western disturbance is affecting Balochistan and adjoining areas and is likely to persist over central and upper parts till Wednesday, an official of Met office said.
PMD’s Director General Dr Ghulam Rasul said the winter season, which started in Pakistan a little late, is expected to last till mid-February. “The ongoing spell of rain and snowfall will further bring down the temperatures. And another spell of rain is expected by the end of this month,” he said.
He added that the current spell would help Pakistan meet its water requirements for the winter crop.
Earlier, Balochistan received its first snowfall of the season, dropping the temperature to -3°C in Zhob. Rain with snowfall was also reported in Chagai, Qilla Abdullah, Chaman and other areas of the province.
In Punjab, Fort Munro was blanketed in white as the area received its first snowfall of the season. The hilly resort in the mountainous Sulaiman Range and Anari Hills witnessed intermittent snowfall.
A large number of people from Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Multan, Bahawalpur and adjacent areas thronged Fort Munro to enjoy the snowfall. Since the snow started falling on Friday night, residents remained without electricity and water for over 18 hours.
“Pakistan continues to bear the brunt of climate change effects due to which the winter season is now shrinking and the summer season is prolonging,” said Ghulam Rasul.
He warned of a more abrupt change in climate later in the year, suggesting there would only be a brief spring before the onset of an unusually early summer.
“Due to prolonged summers, Pakistan will become more vulnerable to intense heat waves, and urban areas will be at high risk,” he said, adding that the spring season would soon be eliminated.
“The shrinking of winters and prolonged summers will have a direct impact on the availability and use of water in the country,” he warned. “In the summer, the need for water rises automatically, therefore the longer the season lasts, the more water will be required to meet needs,” he said.
-Six killed in rain-related incidents-
At least six people, including a child, lost their lives while more than nine were injured during the rain-related accidents in the past two days.
The deaths of eight-year-old Hasnain Noor and 28-year-old Nawaz Khan were reported on Saturday. Both of them died due to electrocution in Railway Colony near City Station and within the remits of Taimooria police station respectively. Meanwhile, a similar incident was also reported from Buffer Zone, where a man whose identity could not be confirmed immediately was killed after receiving an electric shock.
In Karachi, the weather turned cold as the rainfall continued for the second day on Saturday. The unexpected rain exposed the vulnerability of the city’s electricity supply system because of which at least six people were electrocuted over the past two days, including four on Saturday. The city’s outdated drainage infrastructure left key roads and several areas flooded.
The Met office has forecast rain for Sunday in Karachi and Lahore and rain and snowfall in Quetta and Peshawar.
Read more: Karachi covered in dark wet shroud