LAHORE - Parts of the country remained in the grip of cold wave on Saturday with experts predicting harsh condition will persist for another couple of days.

Rains, snowfall and winds helped maintain mercury to a low level, making weather chilly.

Skardu remained coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 11 degree Celsius below freezing point. Minimum temperature in Bagrote, Gupis, Kalam, Malam Jabba and Parachinar was recorded -04C, Astore -03C, Quetta -02C and Murree -01C. Minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 09C. Excessive usage of heaters at offices and home led to low gas pressure in major cities including Lahore. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

The recent wet spell has provided some relief to the people by washing away hazardous pollutants from the atmosphere.

PM2.5 reaches hazardous level of 329AQI

However, it was not enough to completely clear the causes of smog. In Lahore, PM2.5 reached hazardous level of 329 AQI at 1pm.

According to the experts, shallow westerly wave affecting northern parts of the country is likely to move in northeastwards during next 12 hours.

Meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country during the next couple of days.

However, light rain with light snowfall over hills is expected at few places in Gilgit Baltistan. Dense Fog is likely to prevail in most plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during morning and night hours.

Frost is also likely in few areas of Punjab during the period.