LAHORE - Parts of the country received scattered rains with snowfall over the hills on Wednesday, increasing the intensity of cold wave by decreasing temperature during the day and at nighttime. In plains, cloud cover and scattered showers decreased maximum temperature, increasing chill in weather during the day. Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Hazara and Malakand divisions received scattered rains. Biting cold forced the people to avoid unnecessarily coming out, decreasing traffic on otherwise busy arteries. Considerable increase in the usage of heaters at offices and homes led to low gas pressure, causing difficulties for women in cooking meals. Gupis, Kalat and Parachinar remained coldest places in the country where mercury dropped 07 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Mercury dropped to -06 C in Skardu, -04 C in Astore and Kalam and -03 C in Hunza, Drosh and Quetta. Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 15 C and 08 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 89 per cent. In Lahore, rains started last evening and continued with intervals on Wednesday. Though light, the rains increased chill in weather by decreasing temperature during the day. Slippery conditions of roads hampered vehicular movement on major city roads. According to the experts, westerly wave is affecting upper parts of the country and will persist during next 12 to 18 hours. It is likely to move over Kashmir and its neighborhood during next 12 hour. Local meteorological department has forecast rain (with snowfall over the hills) at isolated places in Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Malakand ,Hazara divisions and Kashmir/Gilgit-Baltistan during next 24 hours. Cold and dry weather is expected elsewhere in the country.On Wednesday, Sialkot received 23 mm rain, Gujrat 13 mm, Rawalakot 12 mm, Garidupatta 09 mm, Mangla and Muzaffarabad 07 mm each, Gujranwala 06 mm, Murree and Kotli 05 mm each, Balakot 04 mm, Bunji and Saidu Sharif 03 mm each, Abbotabad and Lahore 02 mm each and Rawalpindi 01 mm . Astore received 06 inch and Skardu 03 inch snowfall.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 23-Jan-2014 here.