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Pollution levels dip as temperatures rise

Officials from the weather bureau said the rise in temperatures was owing to a shift in wind patterns

mumbai Updated: Dec 15, 2016 00:39 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Mahim witnessed cloudy weather on Wednesday.
Mahim witnessed cloudy weather on Wednesday.(Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)

A rise in day and night temperatures on Wednesday led to a drop in pollution levels in Mumbai.

The night temperature at the Santacruz weather station, representative of the suburbs, increased from 15 degrees Celsius — 3 degrees Celsius below normal — on Sunday to 18.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, which was at the normal mark. On the other hand, the minimum temperature at Colaba increased to 23.2 degrees Celsius - 2.3 degrees Celsius above normal.

Owing to the increase in temperatures, pollution levels fell from Tuesday’s ‘poor’ air quality index (AQI) of 239 to ‘moderate’ levels of 187 on Wednesday. The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) predicted AQI levels within the ‘moderate’ category for Thursday at 191.

Meanwhile, day temperatures shot up more than 3 degrees Celsius above normal in the suburbs, as 35.4 degrees Celsius was recorded on Wednesday evening. South Mumbai, however, recorded the maximum temperature at 33.9 degrees Celsius - 2 degrees Celsius above normal.

Officials from the weather bureau said the rise in temperatures was owing to a shift in wind patterns. “The city observed warm winds from the eastern parts of the country coming from the land as opposed to cool winds from the north over the last few days,” said VK Rajeev, director, western region, India Meteorological Department (IMD). He added that warm conditions are likely to continue till Friday.

“A low pressure has developed in the southern parts of Maharashtra that has increased moisture incursions over the state. This has led to cloud formation and rise in temperatures due to heat being trapped close to the surface. As a result, the wind pattern has changed to easterly,” he added.

He said pollution levels dropped as high temperatures did not allow pollutants to settle close to the earth’s surface and high wind speed dispersed them.

The weather bureau predicted similar temperatures and a partly cloudy sky for Thursday.

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