LAHORE - Regular monsoon will start today with widespread rains in Punjab, Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, Lower Sindh and Eastern Balochistan.

Widespread rains/dust-thunderstorm with isolated heavy falls, accompanied by strong gusty winds, are expected in Sibi, Makran, Kalat, Nasirabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Lahore, Faisalabad divisions, Islamabad and Kashmir during the next two to three days. Scattered rains and dust-thunderstorm with isolated heavy falls accompanied by strong gusty winds are expected in Lower Sindh and South Punjab. Rains and thunderstorm are also expected at isolated places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Upper Sindh and Fata.

According to the experts, low pressure area lies over north Arabian Sea. A western disturbance is lying over western parts of Balochistan. Strong monsoon currents are penetrating eastern parts of Balochistan.

Meanwhile, plains of the country, including Lahore, remained in the grip of sultry weather yesterday, causing people to sweat profusely.

Lack of rains, winds and abundance of sunshine caused increase in the mercury level with high humidity, making weather oppressive.

Bhakkar and Bahawalnagar remained the hottest places in the country where mercury rose as high as 46 degrees Celsius.

Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded as 38C and 31C, respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded as 56 percent.

People avoided coming out on a holiday unnecessarily, decreasing traffic on otherwise busy roads at the noon and in the afternoon.

The Lahore canal attracted a large number of people, including women and children. Not only youth but also elderly people were seen beating the heat by taking a bath in the mud-coloured canal water.