LAHORE  - Country remained in the grip of severe cold wave on Tuesday with experts predicting the prevailing conditions to persist during the next couple of days.

In plains of Punjab, fog in the morning and late at night considerably reduced visibility, hampering vehicular movement on inter and intra city roads.

Kalam and Astore remained coldest places in the country where mercury dropped 11 degree Celsius below freezing point. Mercury dropped to -07 C in Gupis and Kalat, -06 C in Quetta and Hunza, -05 C in Skardu, Drosh and Malamjabba, -04 C in Chitral and Dir.

Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 20 C and 04 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 46 per cent.

Biting cold forced the people to avoid unnecessarily coming out, decreasing traffic on otherwise busy roads in major cities including Lahore. Large scale load shedding and low gas pressure added to the woes of cold stricken people. Gas pressure was so low that women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families. According to the experts, continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country.

The meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country during the next couple of days. However, However, light rain (light snow over the hills) is expected at isolated places in Malakand, Hazara, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.