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Punjab Encounters An Unforeseen Arrival of Fog

Author: Hamna Bano
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On 15th December 2021, with an abrupt drop in the temperature, a thick layer of fog descended the province.

It came early this time, as it started in the first week of January last year. In some areas, the visibility was seen dropping to zero. The whole network of travel got influenced, with delays in the flight operations. Motorways were sealed and railway tracks were shut down.

 

With zero chances of rain pouring in Central Punjab, the chances of this fog vanishing are next to none. It is expected that the pattern will be observed for the next two weeks. Foggy conditions are going to make the temperature drop even more according to the meteorology department officials.

Destructive air pollution has added a lot to the situation. Yesterday the Air Quality Index had risen up to 322 which is considered a perilous level. Any kind of unneeded exposure has been made limited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And the focus on using face masks is taken very seriously. In contrast to this the other agencies measuring AQI claim that the Index was high at 348. In other news, the AQI was recorded to be 415 at Fatehgarh, 524 at DHA, and 525 around Aitchison.

But on Wednesday overall estimate revealed Lahore with Air Quality as bad as 369, the most polluted city. While explaining one of the officials from EPA stated that the measurement of the AQI is accomplished via light-based systems. These then complicate fog from smog. The smog and fog are estimated through a laser-based system by EPA. This easily distinguishes the two and gives a more precise sight of pollution.

Umer Farooq of EPA states that “there is no exceptional increasing, sustaining the EPA data instead of that of private agencies.” Till 2016 there was a set pattern of fog from December 20th to January 10th. But then it shifted to early November. This time it has come in the mid of December. These changing patterns are impacted due to climatic changes. The fog will persist for the next few weeks.