Cold wave to persist for two more days
LAHORE, Dec 29: Visibility was reduced to nil as thick fog blanketed Lahore and several other cities in Punjab on Saturday, forcing the closure of the Motorway and Lahore airport during the early hours of Saturday.
The Met Office forecast a blanket of thick to moderate fog from Peshawar to Sukkur on Saturday night and Sunday.
It also said the cold wave would continue to grip the country for two more days. During this time temperatures would further drop because of the fog in the plains and rain and snowfall over the hills.
Fog cleared in Lahore at around 1pm but a mist cover afterwards hung over the shivering city till in the evening, dropping the maximum temperature to 12.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest so far. The minimum temperature last night was 3 degrees Celsius.
Thick fog descended around midnight as clouds cleared after generating intermittent light rain on Friday. The rain-fed moisture and wind, and the low minimum temperature were the factors that contributed to fog.
Visibility was shortly reduced to nil, forcing closure of Lahore airport because of unfavourable aviation conditions. It was opened after the fog cleared but many incoming flights had to be diverted to Islamabad. The flight carrying hockey team from Doha was also among them.
Airport authorities tried to clear the flight backlog after the resumption of the operation but passengers and their relatives continued to face a great deal of inconvenience.
Motorway was closed between Khanqah Dogran and Lahore during the early hours of the day. Those already traveling on the track were escorted by the Motorway police. Many were moved off to GT Road which too was fog-bound.
The Met Office also reported thick fog in Sialkot, Mandi Bahauddin, Mangla and Bahawalpur. And when fog disturbed life in the plains of the country, its upper parts received snow and rain.
Murree witnessed another spell of 1.5ft of snow. It was 10 inches in Chirat, 8 inches in Skardu and 5 inches in Kalam. Qalat was the coldest place in the country with a -13 degrees C minimum temperature which was -11 in Parachinar, -10 in Quetta, -5 in Murree and -4 in Hunza.