LAHORE: Dense fog descended on the plains of Punjab and Sindh on Saturday, disrupting air, road and rail traffic and causing temperatures to dip by several degrees.

Dense fog blanketed Lahore late Friday night, forcing immediate closure of the airport for safety that caused inconvenience to the passengers. The airport was opened for operations around noon but by that time around 45 incoming and outgoing flights had either been cancelled or delayed, airport authorities said.

The city’s temperature dropped from 27 degrees Celsius on Friday to 18 degrees Celsius.

The Motorway and National Highway Authority’s spokesman, Imran Shah, said the motorway remained closed from midnight till noon on Saturday from Lahore to Sheikhupura, Lahore to Pindi Bhat­tian, Faisalabad to Pindi Bhattian and from Lahore to Kot Momin due to poor visibility in heavy fog.

Traffic moved at slow speed to avoid accidents at the National Highway from Lahore to Sukkur. The weather also disrupted traffic from Lahore to Jhelum on GT road.

The meteorological department said that the temperatures dropped in the plains of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. The minimum temperature recorded in Lahore was 7 degrees Celsius, Faisalabad 6 degrees Celsius and Multan 9 degrees Celsius.

The Met Office forecast that fog was likely to persist for a few days.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2016