LAHORE - Blanketed by fog, plains 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.

Less visibility 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. Low visibility hampered vehicular movement on National highway, especially from Kharian to Rahim Yar Khan.

Lack 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.

Kalat, Kalam and Skardu remained the coldest places in the country where mercury dropped 08 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Quetta was recorded -07C, Dalbandin, Gupis, Malamjabba, Astore and Parachinar -05C.  Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 14C and 08C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 82 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, westerly wave affecting upper parts of the country is likely to persist during next 24 to 36 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.

Foggy conditions are expected over plains of Punjab and upper Sindh in the morning during the period.