LAHORE: The city on Thursday awoke to a thick blanket of fog this morning, hitting the air, rail and road services in the provincial capital.
The severe weather conditions, especially in the evening, prompted officials at the Allama Iqbal International Airport to temporaraily ground flights, while the authorities shut down the motorway from Kala Shah Kaku and Kot Abdul Malik, as visibility was down to zero.
The National Highway and Motorway Police have appealed to the drivers to use GT Road for a comparatively safer travel. The police also urged the drivers to drive slowly and switch on fog lights. Moreover, the authorities requested the people to stay home and avoid unnecessary travelling.
Besides fog, a cold wave also tightened its grip in parts of Punjab, especially Lahore.
Routine life was affected after dense fog blanketed the city once again in the evening, reducing visibility considerably in several areas. According to the Met office, foggy conditions are expected to subside in plain areas of Punjab during Saturday and Sunday.
There was shallow fog from Islamabad to Pindi Bhattian on the M2, while the Pindi Bhattian-Lahore section of the motorway had dense fog at 8pm. According to authorities, mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. However, cloudy weather conditions with light rain (snow over the hills) is expected at isolated places in Gilgit-Baltistan and Malakand division.
Weather during the next 48 hours is also expected to remain mainly cold and dry in most parts of the country. The Met office has also predicted good rains with snowfall over the hills during the first week of February. A spokesman for the Met office informed that a weather system is likely to develop over Iran in the next couple of days that would break the prevailing dry spell in Pakistan. This weather system is likely to approach Pakistan during the coming weekend, and it will produce good rain.
Widespread rain is expected in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sahiwal and Lahore divisions) from Saturday (evening) to Monday. The barani areas of wheat crop may receive good rain during the period.
The current wet spell is followed by a cold wave. The spokesman further informed that three to four spells of winter rain are expected during the month of February 2014.
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