The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and the Pakistan Meteorological Department have forecasted rainfall in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, starting today (Thursday). The rain is expected to continue for four days.
A spokesperson for PDMA said that Punjab, a densely populated province, will experience a potential spell of rain from January 25 to 28, affecting areas such as Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, and others.
According to the authority, the plains areas of Punjab are likely to experience smog until the end of January. Additionally, rain and snowfall are expected in Murree.
Officials attribute the spread of diseases to the dry winter and anticipate that the potential rain will help improve the situation. However, the authority has already established facilitation centres in Murree, a popular tourist destination during winter, as the area receives hordes of visitors regularly in winter
PMD added that heavy fog is likely to prevail in Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshera, Swabi, Peshawar, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, and surrounding areas during the morning and night.
Jawad Memon, a weather analyst, said a weak western disturbance is likely to reach northern areas of the country tonight under its influence light to moderate rain is expected at 50-60% of areas of northern regions. However, some light snowfall can also occur in a few high-altitude mountainous regions.
He said some drizzle and light rain can also occur in southwestern Balochistan as well as western parts of Punjab. No significant rain is expected in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan from this System.
However, due to changes in wind direction and its speed the intensity of fog in different parts of Pakistan, especially Punjab regions, he added.
As per the forecast of PMD, some areas of Sindh including Jacobabad, Hyderabad, Mohenjodaro, Sukkur, Larkana, Dadu, Ghotki, Khairpur, Kashmore and Padidan are likely to prevail fog. Due to this, the daytime temperatures will remain below normal in most of the districts of the province.
Moreover, the weather will be cold and dry in most of the districts of Punjab, where Murree, Galiat and Gur, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Okara, Kasur, Lahore, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum, Mangala, Faisalabad, Jhang, Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Toba Tek Singh, Khanewal, Multan, Khanpur, Rahimyar Khan, Hafizabad, Bhakkar, Leh, Dera Ghazi Khan districts and surrounding areas will remain covered by heavy smog.
On the other hand, the authorities advised people to avoid travel on Motorways as the foggy conditions could be a cause of unfortunate incidents. In a bid to prevent unwanted happening, the authorities closed M1 Motorways from Peshawar to Burhan, and Swat Expressway from Colonel Sher Khan to Ismaila.
Similarly, Motorway M3 from Faizpur to Darkhana and M5 from Rahim Yar Khan to Rohri are closed for traffic.
The flight schedule has also been affected due to the fog and many flights have been cancelled.
According to the PMD, the fog will continue for 24 hours in plain areas of the country.