LAHORE - Incessant fog over the plains and snowfall over the hills increased the intensity of the ongoing cold wave on Thursday with experts predicting the harsh weather conditions would persist for the next few days.

Most parts of the plains, including Lahore, saw hardly any sunshine, decreasing daytime temperature considerably and increasing winter woes with low gas pressure adding to people’s miseries.

Besides severe cold, dense fog blanketed the plains throughout the day, bringing the life to a standstill, as low visibility disrupted schedule of flights and trains besides hampering vehicular movement on inter and intra city routes. Incessant fog caused delay in arrival and departure of international and domestic flights during the morning while low visibility also disturbed rail traffic and almost all trains reached to their respective destinations hours behind the scheduled time.

Dense fog forced closures of portions of Motorway, causing difficulties for the motorists who left with no other option except to use alternative routes including National Highway. Dense fog also disturbed vehicular movement on almost entire National Highway.

Experts predict harsh weather conditions will persist for a few days

Skardu remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 11 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Astore was recorded -10C, Gupis and Bagrote -08C, Parachinar, Gilgit and Hunza -05C, Rawalakot , Malam Jabba and Dir -02C. Minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 05C.

In Lahore, fog started falling before the lifting of existing mass, depriving Lahorites from the warmth of sunshine throughout the day. Fog again became so dense at midnight that the visibility reduced to zero in open areas.

Lack of sunshine and continuously blowing winds helped maintaining the mercury to a lower level, causing Lahorites to shiver in freezing cold.

Harsh weather conditions forced the Lahorites to stay indoors wrapped in woollies and blankets. Considerable increase in the usage of heaters in the offices and at home led to low gas pressure throughout the City.

In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals.

According to the experts, a westerly wave is present along western parts of the country and likely to persist during next 24 hours.

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 plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during the morning and night hours.