Lahore - Parts of the country received scattered rains with snowfall over the hills on Saturday, increasing chill in weather by causing considerable decrease in temperature during the day and at nighttime.

Rains with snowfall over the hills occurred at scattered places in Malakand, Hazara, Rawalpindi divisions, Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and at isolated places in Quetta, Makran, Sukkur, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Lahore, Faislabad, Sargodha, DG Khan, Sahiwal and Bahawalpur divisions.

In Lahore, overcast conditions, scattered rains and winds increased chill in weather by causing considerable decrease in temperature during the day and at night.

Severe cold forced people to stay indoors, wrapped in woolies and blankets, decreasing traffic on otherwise busy roads. Excessive usage of heaters at offices and homes led to low gas pressure. In certain areas, women faced hardships in cooking meals for families.

Bagrote, Gupis and Skardu remained coldest places in the country where mercury dropped 08 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Astore was recorded -06C, Kalam and Malamjabba -05C, Hunza -04C, Kalat -03C, Drosh, Gilgit, Bunji, Parachinar and Murrree -02C. Minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 07C.

The rains, though light, have increased hopes of giving much needed relief to people from dry cold related diseases.

Though the rains were not enough to wash away all the accumulated pollutants from the atmosphere, the wet conditions would definitely have decreased the pollution level.

Excessive pollution, prolonged dryness had increased dry cold related diseases among Lahorites, especially elderly people and children with weak immunity.

Medical experts hoped significant decrease in cold borne diseases after the rain and hailstorm.

According to experts, westerly wave is still affecting upper and central parts of the country and likely to move eastward during next 24 hours.

The local meteorological department has forecast mainly very cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the next couple of days. However, partly cloudy weather is expected in Malakand, Hazara divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Rainfall: Balakot received 29mm rain, Pattan ande Dir 25mm each, Risalpur 20mm, Garidupatta 17mm, Muzaffarabad 16mm, Mirkhani, Kalam and Malamjabba 15mm each, Chitral 12mm, Rawalakot 11mm, Islamabad, Murree and Lower Dir 10mm each, Drosh 09mm, Pehswar, Kotli and Lasbella 07mm each, Cherat and Rawalpindi 05mm each, Okara, Saidu Sharif and Quetta 03mm each, Kakul, Sailkot, Kamra, Jehlum 02, Hafizabad, M.B din, Sahiwal, R Y khan, Noorpurthal, Chakwal, Bhakkar, Barkhan, Jaccobad and Rohri 01mm each.

Snowfall (inch): Kalam 09, Malamjabba and Murree 04 each, Ziarat 02, Chitral 01, Bagrote and Skardu traces.