LAHORE - Dense fog and biting cold continued to disturb routine life in plains of the country including Lahore yesterday with experts predicting the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the ongoing week.

Fog started falling in the evening and become so dense at midnight that the visibility reduced to zero at open places.

Dense fog hampered vehicular movement on important intercity and intra city roads including Motorway and National Highway. Dense fog again caused closure of portions of Motorway at around midnight, leaving motorists with no other option except to use alternative routes including National Highway. The situation was the same at almost entire National Highway.

Though the highway was not closed for traffic, less visibility caused the vehicles to move at a snail’s pace. The police advised people to avoid travelling during the night and early morning. If unavoidable, ensure functioning of wipers, switch on fog lights, drive on slow speed and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. The intense fog disturbed normal flight operation and schedule of Pakistan Railways. 

Lack of sunshine, snowfall over the hills and winds helped maintaining the mercury to a low level, making weather chilly during the day and at nighttime. 

Skardu remained coldest places in the country where mercury dropped 08 degree Celsius below freezing point. Minimum temperature at Kalam and Astore was recorded -06C, Quetta -05C, Hunza, Gupis and Malamjabba -04C, Kalat, Gilgit and Dir -03C. Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 19C and 06C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 80 per cent.

Severe cold forced the people to stay indoors wrapped in woolies and blankets to keep their bodies warm. Excessive usage of heaters in the offices and at home led to low gas pressure in major cities including Lahore. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

According to the experts, continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country.

Meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the current week. Dense foggy conditions are likely to continue over plain areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and upper Sindh during night and morning hours.