LAHORE - Dense fog and severe cold wave continued to disturb routine life in parts of the country, including Lahore, on Monday, with experts seeing no respite from the prevailing harsh weather over the next couple of days.

In Lahore, mercury dropped to 2 degree Celsius, making Monday the coldest day of the ongoing winter.

Less duration of sunshine due to dense fog and winds helped maintain the mercury to a low level, making weather chilly during the day and at night.

Skardu remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 21C below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Gupis was recorded -11C, Astore and Bagrote -10C, Kalat -6C, Kalam, Gilgit and Parachinar -5C, Bannu -4C, Chillas, Murree and Quetta -3C.

Harsh weather conditions forced people to stay indoors, resulting in thin traffic on the otherwise busy roads in the morning. Excessive use of heaters at offices and homes led to low gas pressure at homes. In certain localities, women faced difficulties in cooking meals for families.

Fog started falling in the evening and became so dense at mid night that visibility reduced to zero in open areas. Dense fog again forced closure of portions of Motorway at around midnight. The situation was the same on the national highways. Less visibility caused vehicles to move at a snail’s pace.

Dense fog affected normal flight operation at Allama Iqbal International Airport besides disturbing schedule of Pakistan Railways. Almost all trains reached their destinations hours behind the schedule.

According to experts, continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. A shallow westerly wave is likely to affect western and upper parts of the country from Tuesday (today).

The local meteorological department has forecast rain/thunderstorm with light snowfall over mountain for upper hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan over the next couple of days. Mainly cold and dry weather is expected elsewhere in the country. Dense fog is likely to prevail in most plain areas of Punjab, upper Sindh and a few districts of KP during night hours.