LAHORE – Incessant fog, snowfall over the hills and continuously blowing winds caused further decrease in the mercury level across the country including the City on Sunday with experts predicting the cold wave to persist during the next 2-3 days.

Kalat remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 11.6 degree Celsius below the freezing point.

In Lahore, the temperature dropped to 1.4 C, making Sunday the coldest day of current winter. Severe cold forced the people to stay indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions on a holiday.

Fog started falling in the wee hours in the city and continued till the noon. Before the lifting of existing mass, the fog started falling again, depriving Lahorites from warmth of sunshine throughout the day. Fog became so dense at midnight that the visibility reduced to zero in open areas.

Considerable increase in the usage of heaters led to low gas pressure in parts of the country including the city. Gas pressure was so low that the women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals.

Besides severe cold, dense fog blanketed the plains including the city throughout the day, bringing 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.

Incessant 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. Dense fog forced closures of Motorway from Lahore to Islamabad and from Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad, 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, Saturday’s trough of westerly wave lying over northern parts of the country has moved away eastwards.

Maximum and minimum temperature in the City was recorded 10 C and 1.4 C respectively. Relative humidity in morning was recorded 100 per cent which decreased to 93 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 the plains including the City during the next 2-3 days.

Fight disorders: Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Flight Inquiry on Sunday said that several international and domestic flights operating from and to Lahore were delayed by six to eight hours and others were diverted to other destinations.

Spokesman of PIA said that international flights arriving from London, Jeddah and Dammam were diverted to Karachi. He said that domestic flights including, Pk-305, 306, 307, 315 for Karachi, Pk-65, 654 for Islamabad and Pk-323 for Quetta had been delayed due to fog.

 He said flight operation was being affected for the last five to six days due to poor visibility. An officer of CAA said that operation remained opened till 8:00pm after which fog engulfed the airspace and flights were not able to land or take off. However he said that some big planes installed with latest landing system landed and took off even in poor visibility. A flight of Uzbek airways was arriving and departing for same was canceled.PIA and Emirates Airlines operating to and from Dubai and Abu Dhabi were delayed by four to six hours. PIA management has asked passengers to contact flight inquiry or PIA flight operation before leaving for the airport to avoid inconvenience.