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LAHORE: Temperature in Punjab has dropped by 2 to 3 Celsius with the vertical extent of westerly waves on October 10 (last Sunday) besides heavy snowfall in the hilly areas and impressive spell of rains from Attock to Mangla.

Sources in the Punjab Meteorological Department (PMD) said the impact of October 10 westerly waves is prevailing while the next spell will arise on October 17 that may drop the temperature further and improve the air quality index. It will not confront the smog but help germination of potato crop. However, they feared a delay in ripening of the rice crop.

It may be noted that the Punjab government had closed down educational institutions for two days some two years back because of heavy smog in the month of October when the temperature stood high in the absence of westerly waves.

Shahid Abbas, Director PMD, confirmed the development in weather conditions and added that snowfall has started in the hilly areas by mid-September as a routine. But arise of heavy westerly waves has expedited the process this year. He said the vertical extent of the October 10 westerly waves was expanded extraordinarily and it prevailed over the moisture that led to a sudden fall in temperature.

He said the westerly waves continue to arise throughout the year after a lapse of seven to 10 days. However, it stays on low altitude in winter while high in summer. On low altitude, it cools down temperature and brings dryness to the environment, he added.

According to him, the minimum temperature of the city of Lahore has dropped to 22 Celsius which is considered to be a comfortable weather. It was 25 Celsius on 6th of October (last week) and dropped to 21.6 Celsius on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in Islamabad has dropped to 17 Celsius that has brought a pleasant change in weather, especially during the wee hours. He said the westerly waves are yet prevailing over the Northern part of the country, dropping the temperature to 1 Celsius in Kalat, Balochistan. Also, the deserts are experiencing cold nights in Southern parts of the country, he added.

The Director PDM further pointed out that river flows have been affected due to the low temperatures, as the flow in Tarbela has dropped to 45000 Cusecs now from 87000 Cusecs on 1st of October, followed by 12000 Cusecs in Mangla from earlier 25000, 19000 Cusecs in Head Marala from 33000 Cusecs earlier and 9600 Cusecs in Kabul river from 13000 Cusecs earlier.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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