LAHORE - Incessant fog and biting cold disrupted road, air and rail traffic in plains of the country including Lahore yesterday besides causing large scale gas load shedding.

Experts have forecast the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the next couple of days.

Plains in Punjab, upper Sindh and Peshawar division hardly saw any sunshine as fog started falling in the evening before clearing of the existing mass. It became so dense at midnight that the visibility reduced to zero in open areas.

Lahore saw no sunshine, considerably decreasing the temperature during the day and at nighttime. In Lahore, mercury dropped to 4 degree Celsius, making Friday the coldest day of ongoing winter. Maximum temperature was recorded 11C. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 81 per cent.

Severe cold forced the people to stay indoors wrapped in woolies and blankets to keep their bodies warm.

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. Skardu remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 12C below the freezing point.

Minimum temperature in Astore and Hunza was recorded -10C, Gupis -08C, Quetta and Gilgit -06C, Rawalakot and Dir -05C, Parachinar and Kalam -04C, Dalbandin and Kalat -03C, Bunji -02C, Zhob, Malamjabba, Sibbi, Mirkhani, Abbotabad, Lower Dir and Risalpur -01C.

Incessant fog and the resultant less visibility caused closure 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. According to the experts, 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 next couple of days.

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