After two days of air quality in the city being ‘poor’, an increase in wind speed and in day and night temperatures led a drop in pollution on Tuesday.
Mumbai recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 198 during the day that further fell to 194 by the evening, both falling under the ‘moderate’ category, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). SAFAR estimated pollution levels to further decrease on Wednesday with a predicted AQI of 193 (moderate). AQI between 201-300 is considered ‘poor’; 301-400 is ‘very poor’ — indicating a health risk for people sensitive to pollution.
South Mumbai recorded the day temperature 3.5 degrees Celsius above normal at 36.2 degrees Celsius equalling the highest November day temperature of 2013. However, in 2014 and 2015, maximum temperatures had touched the 37 degree Celsius mark. The Santacruz weather station recorded 35.8 degrees Celsius, 2.9 degree Celsius above normal.
Officials from the weather bureau said that a drop in moisture levels had led to dry conditions, which gave way to a rise in day temperatures. “While cool winds from the north-western parts of the country still prevails over the city, the drop in moisture, a clear sky and more heat intensity, led to an increase in maximum temperature,” said VK Rajeev, director, western region, India Meteorological Department. “The rise in temperatures did not allow pollutants to get suspended close to the surface.”
Polluted sites in Mumbai
On Tuesday, Navi Mumbai, Malad, Bandra Kurla Complex and Andheri were the most polluted locations that recorded ‘poor’ air quality. Borivli recorded the cleanest air for the fifth day in a row.