LAHORE - Parts of the country received rainfall of varying intensities on Tuesday with experts predicting the wet spell to continue during the next couple of days.

Rain-thunderstorm (with snowfall over the hills) occurred at scattered places in Punjab, Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan.Scattered rains, snowfall over the hills and winds increased chill in weather by decreasing the mercury level. 

In Lahore, clouds, winds and scattered drizzle decreased temperature during the day and at nighttime, increasing chill in weather. Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 16 degree Celsius and 09C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 78 per cent. Excessive usage of heaters at offices and homes resulted in low gas pressure. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

According to the experts, westerly wave is affecting upper parts of the country and likely to persist till Wednesday.  The local meteorological department has forecast rain-thunderstorm, a few hailstorm and snowfall over the hills at scattered places in upper KP (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat divisions), Fata, upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sargodha divisions), Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during the next couple of days. Foggy conditions are likely over plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during night and morning hours.

The winter rain will have a positive impact on all Rabi crops, fruit orchards, vegetable farms, pulses, etc, according to an expert. Punjab Agriculture Department Extension Adaptive and Research (A&R) Director General Muhammad Zafar Yab Haider told APP on Tuesday that about 40 per cent of water shortage was being faced and the recent rainfall had proved very beneficial for the crops, he added. He said, "Pulses including gram in rain-fed areas will  also benefit from the rainfall." The DG said that farmers of rain-fed areas should complete wheat sowing as early as possible in order to effectively utilise the moisture caused due to recent rain.

Removing weeds from standing crops was very important as they consume moisture and food which are to be utilised by crops, he added.