LAHORE - Parts of the country including Lahore received first significant winter rain on Thursday, increasing chill in weather by causing considerable decrease in temperature during the day and at nighttime.

Rain/thunderstorm occurred at scattered places in districts of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir.

Experts have predicted the wet spell will continue intermittently during the next couple of days.

In plains, the rains provided much needed relief to the citizens by washing away pollutants from the atmosphere.

Skardu and Kalam remained the coldest places in the country where mercury dropped 06 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Bagrote and Gupis was recorded -04C, Parachinar, Hunza and Astore -03C and Malamjabba -02C.

In Lahore, the rains started last night and continued intermittently throughout the day on Thursday. Overcast conditions, continuously blowing winds and rains increased chill in weather by decreasing temperature during the day and at nighttime. Minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 08C.

People preferred to stay indoors to avoid exposure to harsh weather conditions. Excessive usage of heaters at offices and homes led to low gas pressure. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families. Wet conditions and winds also caused tripping of dozens of Lesco feeders, plunging portion of Lahore in darkness for hours.

The wet spell disturbed routine life by causing inundation on roads and roadsides, frequent power outages and massive traffic jams.Massive traffic jams were witnessed on major arteries including The Mall, Jail Road and Ferozepur Road due to inundation of rainwater and slippery conditions. Several incidents of skidding of motorcycles were also reported from various parts of Lahore.

The rains washed away hazardous pollutant from the atmosphere, giving much needed relief to the citizens from the smog persisting for the last couple of weeks. The rains are also likely to decrease prevalence of dry cold related diseases.

According to the experts, westerly wave is affecting most upper and central parts of the country.

Meteorological department has forecast rains/ wind-thunderstorm with snowfall over mountains in districts of north Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir during the next couple of days. Heavy falls also expected at isolated places in Kashmir. Fog is likely to prevail in upper/south Punjab and upper Sindh during morning/night.

Mithi received 32mm rain, Bahawalpur 16mm, Quetta 14mm, Rahim Yar Khan, Sahiwal and Multan 13mm each, Khanewal and Bahawalnagar 11mm each, Kot Addu 10mm, Okara 09 and Barkhan 09mm each, Kalat 08 and Khanpur 08mm each, DG Khan, Lahore, Mirpurkhas and Malmjabba 07mm each, Sibbi 06mm, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Jhelum and Narowal 05mm each, Jhang, Bhakkar, Layyah, Shaheed Benazirabad and Thatta 04mm each, Hyderabad, Tandojam, Gujrat and Dalbandin 03mm each, Saidusharif, Islamabad and Sargodha 02mm each and Jacobabad, Rohri, Dir, Turbat, Jiwani, Faisalabad , TT Singh, Garhidupatta and Kotli 01mm each.