LAHORE - Parts of the country received scattered rains with snowfall over the hills on Tuesday, increasing the intensity of prevailing cold wave by causing decrease in temperature during the day and at nighttime.

Makran, Quetta, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore and Hazara divisions received scattered rains.

Severe cold forced the people to stay indoors to avoid exposure to harsh weather conditions, decreasing traffic on otherwise busy arteries. Considerable increase in the usage of heaters at offices and homes led to low gas pressure, causing difficulties for women in cooking meals.

Skardu remained coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 10 degree Celsius below the freezing point. Mercury dropped to -07 C in Gupis and Astore, -05 C in Hunza, -04 C in Gilgit, -03 C in Kalam, Kalat, Quetta and Rawalakot and -02 C in Chitral and Drosh. Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 18 C and 06 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 52 per cent.

In Lahore, rains started in the evening and continued intermittently till late at night. Though light, the rains increased chill in weather by decreasing temperature during the night. Slipper conditions of roads caused frequent traffic jams on major arteries.

According to the experts, westerly wave is affecting upper and northeastern parts of the country and likely to persist during next 24 to 36 hours.

Local meteorological department has forecast isolated light rain (with snowfall over the hills) for Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, Malakand, Hazara divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during the next couple of days.

Cold and dry weather is expected elsewhere in the country.