ISLAMABAD/QUETTA - A severe cold wave has hit the country as Neelam Valley, Kalam, Malamjabba and Skardu received snowfall while Karachi, the last in line for winter season, finally experienced chilly winds causing temperatures to drop.

According to reports, snow has enveloped Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kaghan has been cut off from rest of the country for the last one week due to heavy snowfall. Almost 2.5 to 4.5 feet snowfall was recorded in Malamjabba, Kalam, and Neelum Valley, surrounding areas, and Murree. Temperature touched -12 degrees in Skardu.

Tourists at Malka-e-Kohsar Murree were delighted, as fans of snow weren’t held back by blocked roads where according to traffic police more than 30,000 vehicles have created a massive jam. Reports said some motorists spent the freezing night in their vehicles. On the other hand, the main Mall Road was overcrowded while shopping, alongside, also suddenly peaked. Demand for piping hot food, especially tea, desserts and sweets, has risen in the hill resort.

Similarly Quetta, Kalat, Peshawar and other hilly areas of the country are shivering under severe cold while chill prevails over Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore.

Reports from Gilgit and Fata say, chilly winds gripped the northern regions and Fata, while blankets of snow transformed the mountains and valleys of the north into stunning landscapes, something right out of a painting.

Sindh and Balochistan weren’t spared from the freezing weather, with the lowest temperature in Quetta recorded at -10 degrees.

Nawabshah – the hottest city in summers – felt the chill, as fried fish stalls teemed with customers waiting in line for fresh food.

According to the Met office, mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. However, rain-thunderstorm with snowfall over the hills is expected at isolated places in Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala divisions, upper Fata, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. Foggy conditions are likely to continue over plain areas of Punjab and Sindh during night and morning hours.

Temperatures in different cities as reported by Pakistan Meteorological Department on Sunday were: Skardu -12°C, Quetta -10°C, Kalat -09°C, Kalam -08°C, Dalbandin, Gupis -06°C, Parachinar, Astore -05°C, Malamjabba, Hunza, Murree, Rawalakot -04°C, Bagrote, Dir -03°C, Gilgit, Kakul, Drosh -02°C.