LAHORE – Snowfall over the hills and continuously blowing winds caused considerable decrease in the mercury level across the country including the City on Saturday, making people shiver in freezing cold.

In Lahore, the temperature dropped to 3 degree Celsius, making Saturday the coldest day of current winter.

Besides severe cold, dense fog blanketed the City in the early hours and at late night after a brief period of sunshine at noon.

Snowfall over the hills and winds caused considerable decrease in the temperature, 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.

Dense fog brought the life to a standstill as low visibility disrupted schedule of flights and trains besides hampering vehicular movement on inter and intra city routes including Motorway and National Highway. Brief period of sunshine at noon provided some respite to the Lahorites 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 Lahore to Inslamabad 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.

According to the experts, a shallow trough of westerly wave is lying over northern parts of the country.

On Saturday, Kalat remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 13 C below the freezing point. Maximum and minimum temperature in the City was recorded 12.8 C and 3 C respectively. Relative humidity in morning was recorded 100 per cent which decreased to 81 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.