After a long dry spell, a westerly started affecting different parts of western, north-western and northern parts of the country on Friday night and early Saturday morning, resulting in the first rain and snow of this winter season. According to reports, snowfall has started in the mountainous regions of Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan, Chitral, Swat, Waziristan and other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with rain in plains or on lower elevations. Rain and snow is also being witnessed in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan where elections are scheduled for today (Sunday). It means that the harsh weather condition may affect the polling process in the region. Meanwhile, north-western Balochistan, including Quetta and Chaman, started receiving rain of varying intensity since late Friday night while light snowfall was being witnessed on Khojak Pass. Similarly, Islamabad too experienced drizzle/light rain. However, rain and thunderstorm is predicted in the federal capital during the next 48 hours. On the other hand, upper and central Punjab – including the smog-ridden Lahore – will also start receiving from Saturday with an increase in intensity on Saturday night/Sunday. Earlier, the Met Office had predicted that the westerly will grip the western and upper part of the country on Friday and persist till Monday morning. It was Upper Dir where the highest amount of rain – 22 millimetres – was recorded during the last 24 hours. The Met Office says rain/thunderstorm and snow on mountains is expected in Islamabad, Rawalpindi Division, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and north-western Balochistan. The plain areas of central Punjab may also receive some light rain. On Sunday, rain/thunderstorm and snow on mountains will lash Islamabad, upper and central Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.