LAHORE - Dense fog and biting cold continued disturbing routine life in plains of the country including Lahore on Tuesday by disrupting road, rail and air traffic besides causing low gas pressure.

Experts have predicted the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the current week.

In Lahore, mercury dropped to 5 degree Celsius, making Tuesday the coldest day of ongoing winter.

Dense fog hampered vehicular movement on major inter and intra city routes including Motorway and National Highway besides disturbing rail and air traffic.

Increase in usage of heaters to cope with biting cold led to low gas pressure in major cities including Lahore. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

Temperature dips down to 5 degree centigrade 

The fog started falling in the evening and become so dense at mid night that visibility reduced to zero in open areas. Less visibility hampered vehicular movement on important intercity roads including Motorway and National Highway. Dense fog again forced closure of portions of Motorway at around midnight, leaving motorists with no option except to use alternative routes including National Highway. The situation was the same at almost the entire National Highway. Dense fog caused the vehicles to move at a snail’s pace. The police advised the people to avoid unnecessary travelling from late night to early morning. If unavoidable, switch on fog lights, ensure proper functioning of wipers and drive on slow speed.

Dense fog disturbed normal flight operation at Allama Iqbal International Airport. Several domestic and international flights were delayed and cancelled. Less visibility also disturbed schedule of Pakistan Railways. Almost all trains reached their respective destinations hours beyond the scheduled time.

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

Astore remained coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 12C below freezing point. Minimum temperature in Skardu, Kalam, Gupis and Bagrote was recorded -08C, Hunza -07C, Parachinar and Kalat -05C, Malamjabba, Gilgit, Dir and Rawalakot -04C, Quetta -02C, Murree, Kakul and Mirkhani -01C.

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

Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the current week. Dense Fog is likely to prevail in most plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during morning and night hours. Frost is also likely to form in Pothohar region.