LAHORE - Country remained in the grip of severe cold wave on Saturday with frequent outages and low gas pressure adding to the woes of people. Experts have predicted the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the next couple of days.

Weather remained cold and dry in most parts of the country. However, morning frost observed at scattered places of upper Punjab. Light rain (with light snowfall over the hills) occurred at isolated places in Malakand division and Gilgit-Baltistan.

In Lahore, mercury dropped to 1 degree Celsius, making Saturday the coldest day of current winter. Maximum temperature in the City was recorded 19 C. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 31 per cent.

Harsh weather conditions forced the people to stay indoors wrapped in woolies and blankets to keep their bodies warm. Excessive usage of heaters at offices and homes led to low gas pressure. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

Kalat remained coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 11 C below freezing point. Mercury dropped to -10 C in Skardu and Parachinar, -09 C in Quetta and Astore, -08 C in Hunza,  -07 in Gupis, -06 in Malamjabba and Gilgit, -04 C in Murree, Dalbandin, Drosh, Kalam, Rawalakot and Zhob and -03 C in Rawalakot.

According to the experts, a continental air is prevailing over most parts of country. A shallow westerly trough is affecting northernmost parts of the country.

Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country during the next couple of days. However, mostly cloudy weather with chances of light rain (snowfall over the hills) is expected in Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar divisions, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. North Balochistan and upper parts of the country will remain in the grip of severe cold wave. Frost would continue to affect scattered places of upper Punjab (Rawalpindi/ Islamabad, Gujranwala, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sargodha divisions) during morning/night time.