LAHORE – Dense fog and severe cold continued to disturb routine life in plains of the country including the City on fourth day on Wednesday with low visibility causing closure of Motorway, disrupting schedule of flights and trains besides hampering vehicular movement on inter and intra city routes.

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

Like the last three days, brief period of sunshine at noon provided some respite to the people by increasing mercury level and improving visibility. But again, fog started falling in the evening and become so dense at midnight that the visibility reduced to zero in open areas.

Thick fog caused delay in arrival and departure of international and domestic flights during the morning while considerable reduction in visibility at midnight led to suspension of flight operation at the Airport. Dense fog also disturbed rail traffic and almost all trains reached to their respective destinations hours behind the scheduled time.

Low visibility hampered vehicular movement on major intercity roads, especially from midnight to 12 at noon. Dense fog forced closures of Motorway from Islamabad to Lahore and from Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad at midnight, 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, from Karian to Lahore, Lahore to Multan, Multan to Rahim Yar Khan and from Rahim Yar Khan to Sukkar. Situation was comparatively better at Islamabad to Kharian section where fog intensity was low.

Snowfall over the hills and continuously blowing winds caused considerable decrease in the mercury level across the country including the City, increasing chill in weather during the day and at nighttime. Low visibility and freezing cold forced the people to stay indoors wrapped in woolies and blankets. Considerable increase in the usage of heaters in the offices and at home led to low gas pressure in various parts of the City. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals.

According to the experts, a trough of westerly wave lies over northern parts of the country. Another trough of westerly wave lies over southern Iran and adjoining areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On Wednesday, Parachinar remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 10 degree Celsius below the freezing point.

Maximum and minimum temperature in the City was recorded 14.3 C and 3.4 C respectively. Relative humidity in the morning was recorded 100 per cent which decreased to 82 per cent in the evening.

Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country with fog in the morning and at night for Sukkar and Larkana Divisions and plains of Punjab including the City during the next couple of days. However isolated rain with snowfall over the hills is likely in Malakand division, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.