LAHORE - Parts of the country received first significant pre monsoon rains with windstorm on Saturday, reducing the intensity of prevailing heat wave by causing considerable decrease in the mercury level.

Experts have predicted more rains with gusty winds for parts of the country during the next 2-3 days.

Rain-thunderstorm occurred at isolated places of upper Punjab, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Patches of clouds, scattered showers and strong winds caused considerable decrease in temperature during the day and at nighttime, providing much needed respite to the people from the harsh weather conditions persisting for the last fortnight.

In Lahore, winds started blowing in the afternoon, followed by rains that continued with intervals till late night. People come out of their houses in the evening to enjoy pleasant change in weather. Major parks and picnic spots attracted a large number of people including women and children. Huge rush was witnessed at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Gulshan Park, Jillani Park, Jallo Park, Lahore Zoo and other picnic spots in the City. Massive traffic jams were witnessed on roads in the close vicinity of these parks.

Rains added to the woes of motorists as rainwater inundated on roadsides and portions of roads. Inundated rainwater and slippery conditions of roads caused massive traffic jams in most parts of the city. Several incidents of skidding of motorcycles were also reported from various parts of Lahore. Windstorm uprooted trees and branches, hampering smooth vehicular movement in parts of Lahore.

On Saturday, maximum and minimum temperature in the City was recorded 40 degree Celsius and 31 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 32 per cent.

Prior to the windstorm and rains, plains including Lahore sizzled in severe heat wave that forced people to stay indoors to avoid exposure to harsh weather conditions.  Turbat remained hottest place in the country where mercury rose as high as 50.5 C. Maximum temperature in Dadu was recorded 49.5 C, Sibbi and Jacobabad 48 C, Moenjodaro and Larkana 47 C, Padidan and Sukkur 46 C.

According to the experts, a well marked seasonal low lies over northeast Balochistan and adjoining areas. Another low lies over central Punjab and adjoining areas. Moist currents from Arabian Sea are penetrating into upper and central parts of the country.

Local meteorological department has forecast scattered dust-storm (with isolated rain-thundershower) for central Punjab (Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Multan and D G Khan divisions) and isolated dust-storm with rain for Rawalpindi, Malakand, Hazara, Bahawalpur, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu divisions), Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during the next couple of days.