LAHORE - Like other parts of the country, the city remained in the grip of severe cold wave on Sunday with experts predicting the harsh weather conditions to persist during the next 2-3 days.

Dense fog continued to add to the woes of cold stricken people by disrupting rail and air traffic and hampering vehicular movement on all city roads in the morning and late at night.

Continuously blowing winds, dense fog and the resultant lesser period of sunshine helped maintaining the mercury to a low level during the day and at nighttime with large scale gas loadshedding and low pressure adding to the woes of cold stricken people.

After brief period of sunshine at noon, fog started falling in the evening and become so dense at midnight that the visibility reduced to zero in open areas. Dense fog and the resultant low visibility caused suspension of flight operation besides disturbing rail traffic and almost all trains reached to their respective destinations hours behind the scheduled time.

Harsh weather conditions forced the people to stay indoors wrapped blankets to keep themselves warm, reducing traffic on otherwise busy roads. In most parts of the city, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families. Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 13 degree Celsius and 03 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 76 per cent.

The situation in other parts of plains remained the same as less visibility hampered vehicular movement on major intercity roads, especially from midnight to 12 at noon. Motorway Police continued to take vehicles in convoys to ease load on National Highway.

Skardu remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 11 C below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Astore was recorded -10 C, Gilgit, Hunza and Kalat -07 C, Gupis, Parachinar and Quetta -06 C, Dir and Kalam -04 C, Lower Dir, Dalbandin and Rawalakot -03 C, Zhob, Bunji and Murree -02 C, Saidu Sharif, Bannu, Mirkhani and Drosh -01 C.

According to the officials, continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. A fresh western disturbance will affect northern areas from Monday night.

The local meteorological department has forecast cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the next 2-3 days. Dense foggy conditions will continue to prevail in Gujranwala, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Sahiwal divisions and foggy in Sargodha, Rawalpindi, D G Khan, Peshawar, D I Khan and Sukkur divisions during night and morning hours. Ground frost may occur over isolated places of upper Punjab.