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January 8, 2017

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Country in grip of cold wave

Murree, Galiyat, Kashmir receive heavy snowfall, temperature falls to minus 3.5 in Quetta

MURREE: Almost the entire country has come in the grip of cold wave after heavy rains and snowfall on the hilly areas from Murree to Kashmir and the temperature fell to minus 4 in Quetta.

Murree, its adjoining tourist areas and Kashmir received the most heavy snowfall of the season and the mercury dropped to minus three with freezing chill here. 

Murree received more than eight inches of snow while reports said that almost 24 inches snowfall was recorded in the Galiyat areas and Kashmir. 

Although, the snow clearing operation is going on by the snow clearing unit of the Punjab Highway Department in Murree yet the haphazard vehicular traffic due to slippery conditions of roads led to many heavy vehicles getting stuck in snow, resulting in traffic jams on the Murree-Rawalpindi main road for many hours in the evening in the areas of Jhikagali, Kuldanna and Sunny Bank.

However, the traffic staff despite continuous snowfall was on the roads to restore and regulate the vehicular traffic. A tourist family returning from Nathiagali told this scribe that the road conditions in areas of Galiyat were bad and many tourists were confined to their vehicles since many hours as the road was not cleared by the Galiyat Development Authority (GDA). 

Meanwhile, rain and thunderstorm with snow over the hills occurred in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan divisions and Kashmir in the last 12 hours.

Rawalpindi received 26mm rain, Kotli 16, Muzaffarabad 15, Islamabad 11, Lower Dir 10, Murree 9 and Saidu Sharif 8mm.

In the next 12 hours more intermittent rain and thunderstorm with snowfall over the hills is expected at scattered places in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Lahore, Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Mardan divisions, FATA Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

Foggy conditions are likely to continue over plain areas of Punjab and Sindh during night and morning hours. Temperature of some major cities recorded on Saturday morning Islamabad 8 degree centigrade, Lahore 11, Karachi 17, Peshawar 7, Quetta minus 3.5, Gilgit 2, Murree zero and Muzaffarabad 6 degree centigrade.

In Quetta, the temperature dropped to minus 3.5 Celsius in the wake of cold and dry weather prevailing in major parts of Balochistan.

Maximum temperature was also recorded at 7 Celsius in the Valley.

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