LAHORE: Dense fog and biting cold continued disturbing routine life in plains of the country including Lahore yesterday by disrupting road, air and rail traffic and causing large scale gas load shedding.
Experts have forecast the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the couple of days. Intensity of fog is likely to decrease in plains of Pothohar region after two days.
Punjab authorities have closed down schools from Jan 26 to 31 because of biting cold, a private TV channel reported.
A westerly wave is likely to enter western parts of the country on Wednesday that will grip upper parts on Thursday. Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, FATA, North Balochistan, Upper Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir are likely to receive rains with snowfall over the hills from Thursday to Friday. Areas of wheat cultivation are also expected to receive good rainfall during the period.
Dense fog caused closure of portions of Motorway, disrupted air and rail traffic besides hampering vehicular movement on inter and intra city routes including National Highway.
Less visibility led to closure of portions of Motorway 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.
The authorities advised the people to avoid unnecessary travelling. They advised the motorists to drive in slow speed and use fog lights.
Lack of sunshine, snowfall over the hills and winds from the north caused considerable decrease in the mercury level, increasing chill in the weather during the day and at nighttime.
Severe cold forced the people to stay indoors wrapped in woolies and blankets to keep their bodies warm.
Excessive usage of heaters in the offices and at home led to low gas pressure in various parts of Lahore. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.
Skardu remained the coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 12 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Minimum temperature in Astore was recorded -09C, Gupis -08C, Hunza -07C, Gilgit -06C, Kalam and Rawalakot -04C, Quetta, Dir, Malamjabba and Parachinar -03C, Bannu, Kalat and Sibbi -02C and Bunji -01C.
Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 11C and 03C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 74 per cent.
Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the next couple of days.
Dense Foggy conditions are expected over plains of Punjab and upper Sindh during the night and in morning hours during the period.