LAHORE  - Country remained in the grip of severe cold wave on Sunday with experts predicting the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the next couple of days. Frequent outages and low gas pressure added to the woes of cold stricken people.

Experts are expecting rainfall of varying intensities and snowfall over the hills on Monday evening and Tuesday as a westerly wave is prevailing over parts of the country. Weather remained cold and dry in most parts of the country. However, morning frost observed at scattered places of upper Punjab. Light rain (with light snowfall over the hills) occurred at isolated places in Malakand division.

Kalat remained coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 12 degree Celsius below freezing point. Mercury dropped to -10 C in Skardu, -09 C in Parachinar, -08 C in Quetta, -07 C in Astore and Gupis, -06 C in Malamjabba and Drosh, -05 C in Rawalakot, -04 C in Murree, Hunza, Dir and Chitral.

Maximum and temperature in Lahore was recorded 18 C and 01 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 37 per cent.

Harsh weather conditions forced the people to stay indoors on a holiday wrapped in woolies and blankets to keep their bodies warm. Excessive usage of heaters led to low gas pressure. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

According to the experts, a westerly wave is prevailing over northeast Afghanistan, which is likely to move east northeastwards and enter upper parts of the country on Monday and would persist till Tuesday.

Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country during the next couple of days. However, partly cloudy weather with isolated light rain-snowfall is expected in Malakand division and Gilgit-Baltistan. Partly cloudy weather with isolated light rain (with light snowfall over the hills) is expected in Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Malakand and Peshawar divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during Monday (evening/night)/Tuesday (morning).