LAHORE, Feb 5: The intense westerly system on Tuesday started losing its strength and moving away after producing heavy snowfall and rain for three consecutive days that recharged the almost dry rivers in eastern regions of the country.
The spell is affecting life in the cities and hill stations of upper parts of the country, closing link roads and forcing people to remain indoors.
Several people were reported dead or injured in weather-related incidents in different parts of the country.
Malam Jabba has received a record 10ft of snow over the past three days. The earlier record was 8ft at the same place.
On Tuesday, it rained heavily in Islamabad and many cities in the north. Heavy snowfall too continued, hindering traffic on link roads in hilly areas.
Flood Forecasting Division’s Chief Meteorologist Riaz Khan said the westerly system had started gradually weakening, and it was likely to move towards Tibet and China after 24 hours. But before it moves away, it was likely to further unleash its fury in upper parts of the country and in northern Punjab on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning.
The good news was that the spell had recharged the nearly dry rivers, he said, adding that the inflow in Mangla Dam had increased to 100,000 cusecs of water. The inflow of Tarbela was 50,000 cusecs.
The flow in the Kabul River was 50,000 cusecs and in Chenab 60,000 cusecs at Marala. The flow in Chenab was expected to touch the figure of 100,000 cusecs in the next 24 hours because of the expected heavy rain in its catchments during Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, major parts of the country continued to receive rain and snowfall.
RAIN: In Lahore, rain was accompanied by a windstorm with a velocity of 70km per hour and hailstones. Trees and billboards were uprooted at many places. It remained heavily overcast, dropping the maximum temperature to 17 degrees Celsius.
The Met Department reported 16mm of rain at its Jail Road office and 3mm at the airport.
Rain was not that light at many other places in the country, though. Rawalakot received 127mm, Islamabad Airport 105mm, Islamabad Zero Point 102mm, Muzaffarabad 92mm, Kakul 83mm, Chakwal 81mm, Kotli 65mm, Saidu Sharif 61mm, Malam Jabba 58mm, Mandi Bahauddin 57mm, Jhelum and Balakot 53mm, Multan 52mm, Murree 41mm, Sialkot Airport and Sargodha 34mm, Faisalabad 31mm and Kalam 21mm.
Reports pouring in from different parts of the country indicated closure of the 55km road linking Kalam with Madian because of heavy snowfall. The Kalam-Swat link road too was closed to all types of traffic.
Roads leading to Murree and Muzaffarabad too were closed because of snowfall and rain.
The Met office said that Kalam had so far received 6ft of snow, Murree, Parachinar and Skardu 2ft and Drosh, Dir, Astore and Chirat one foot.
It said Rawlakot received 219mm of rain during the last three days. Saidu Sharif received 212mm, Kakul 209mm, Chirat 184mm, Malam Jabba 183mm, Rawalpindi 174mm, Islamabad 172mm, Risalpur 168mm, Garhi Dupatta 167mm, Lower Dir 149mm, Pattan 134mm, Muzaffarabad 130mm Chakwal 129mm, Mangla 117mm, Kalam 112mm, Peshawar 115mm, Balakot 110mm, Drosh 97mm, Kotli 91mm, Dir 90mm, Murree 87mm, Joharabad 83mm, Mandi Bahauddin 78mm, Kohat 75mm, Jhelum 73mm, Parachinar 69mm and Chitral 65mm.
The Met department forecast widespread thunderstorm/rain with scattered heavy falls, and heavy snowfall over the hills over upper Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir in the next 24 hours.
Scattered thunderstorm/rain with isolated heavy falls and snowfall over the hills might also occur over lower Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and northern Punjab.
Thunderstorm/rain with snowfall over the hills was also likely in Quetta and Zhob divisions and South Punjab.
The Met department said that the water level of eastern rivers – Indus, Jhelum, Chenab and Ravi – might also rise.