LAHORE -  Experts have forecast below normal rains and snowfall for the country during the ongoing month.

The prevailing global climate and weather conditions indicate that two to three spells of rainfall with snowfall over the hills are expected in the country.

Foggy conditions are expected to prevail in the plains of Punjab and upper Sindh during the period.

Meanwhile, parts of the country including Lahore remained in the grip of cold wave on Thursday with experts predicting the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the next couple of days.

Dense fog and severe cold disrupted road, air and rail traffic besides causing low gas pressure in major cities including Lahore.

Dense fog caused closure of portions of Motorway besides hampering vehicular movement on inter and intra city routes including National Highway.

Closure of Motorway caused difficulties for the motorists who left with no other option except to use alternative routes including National Highway.

Lesser period of sunshine, snowfall over the hills and winds caused considerable decrease in the mercury level, increasing chill in the weather during the day and at nighttime.

Skardu remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 10 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Astore and Gupis was recorded -08C, Gilgit -07C, Hunza -06C, Kalat and Bagrote -05C. Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 13C and 04C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 76 per cent.

Excessive usage of heaters in the offices and at home led to low gas pressure in various parts of Lahore. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

According to the experts, shallow westerly wave is present over upper parts of the country and likely to persist during next 24 hours.

Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the next couple of days. Rain-thunderstorm (with snowfall over the hills) is expected at isolated places in Malakand, Hazara divisions, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. Dense foggy conditions are likely to prevail over plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during night and morning hours.