First winter rain brings pleasant change

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: The first rain of the current winter season brings good news for wheat growers and the residents of northern parts of the country including the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

In the rain-fed agriculture areas, the Friday rain has been considered a blessing by the farmers.

“I was really upset and worried because wheat has started to grow and there was no rain in December,” said Zahid Shah, a farmer in Taxila.

Whereas, for the urban dwellers rain means settling down of dust particles that was causing extra dryness in the environment.

“I had to broom the veranda and balcony twice a day due to the dust,” said a housewife in the federal capital.

The residents also expressed satisfaction because the rain would reduce the prevailing throat and sinus infections caused by the long dry spell.

With the arrival of moist and cold winds, most parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Northern Punjab receive rain and snowfall. The met office has said that the current westerly wave in upper parts of the country is likely to persist for next 24-48 hours.

As the westerly waves are gradually moving from the north and the west towards central Punjab, Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been witnessing cloudy weather for the past two days.

During this period isolated rain with snowfall was witnessed over the hills of Muree and Galiat, upper Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

Similar conditions are predicted over these areas and Potohar on Saturday, while rains are expected in southern parts on Sunday.

The foggy and misty conditions are likely to persist over some plain areas of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sukkur division while the weather likely to remain cold and dry in most parts of Sindh and Balochistan.

During the past 24 hours, rainfall recorded in various parts of the country is Dir, Pattan 19mm, Rawlakot 15mm, Saidu Sharif 11mm, Parachinar 10mm, Murree and Muzaffarabad 9mm and Chitral 7mm. Malam Jabba received 26 inches of snowfall and Kalam received 21 inches.

Meanwhile, the rain and poor visibility in Rawalpindi and Islamabad have disturbed the flight and train schedule.

The poor visibility forced the Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) to cancel eight flights from Islamabad to Gilgit-Baltistan, one each for Sakardu and Chitral. The four flights from Gilgit-Baltistan to Islamabad were also canceled. The bad weather also delayed four flights for and from Lahore by two hours.

“The rain does not affect the flight schedule but poor visibility causes delay or cancellation of the flights,” said CAA official. He said that the clouds might disturb the schedule on Saturday.

The rain also derailed the train schedule. The trains from Karachi, Quetta and Lahore arrived late in Rawalpindi.

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