LAHORE - Plains of the country including the City remained in the grip of severe heat wave on Sunday with experts predicting the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the next couple of days. With the mercury rising gradually, unscheduled loadshedding has added to the woes of heat stricken people at the peak of the summer season. In big cities, including Lahore, people avoided unnecessarily coming out on roads, reducing traffic at otherwise busy arteries at noon and in the afternoon. Padidan remained the hottest place in the country where mercury rose as high as 48 degree Celsius. The maximum and minimum temperatures in the City were recorded at 45C and 25C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 18 per cent. Lahore Canal, as usual, attracted a large number of people including women and children. Not only the youth but also elderly people were seen bathing in the Canal. At certain places, even women were seen beating the heat by taking a dip in the mud-coloured Canal water. According to the experts, seasonal low lies over Balochistan and adjoining areas. A shallow westerly wave is also prevailing over upper parts of the country. Local Meteorological Department has forecast mainly very hot and dry weather for most parts of the country including the City during the next couple of days. However, thunderstorm-rain associated with gusty winds is likely at a few places of Peshawar, Malakand, Hazara divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 20-May-2013 here.