LAHORE - Upper parts of the country remained in the grip of severe cold wave on Wednesday with experts predicting the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the next couple of days.

Lack of rains and abundance of sunshine, however, reduced the intensity of cold wave in plains of the country by increasing temperature during the day and at nighttime.

Parachinar remained coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 12 degree Celsius below freezing point. Mercury dropped to -09 C in Hunza, -08 C in Astore and Gupis, -07 C in Kalam, -06 C in Skardu, Kalat and Quetta and -03 C in Chitral, Gilgit and Drosh.  Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 21 C and 05 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 52 per cent.

Harsh weather conditions forced the people to stay indoors wrapped in woolies and blankets, , decreasing traffic on otherwise busy arteries in major cities. Large scale load shedding and low gas pressure added to the winter woes of people. Gas pressure was so low that women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.