A sudden spike in pollution levels made Tuesday’s air quality the second worst this year. The Air Quality Index (AQI) went up to 307 (very poor) as compared to 250 (poor) on Monday. The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) predicted Wednesday’s AQI at 302. It was well within the ‘poor’ category at 250 on Monday.
Researchers from SAFAR attributed the spike to high moisture levels and a low wind speed. “Since humidity levels have been high for the past two days and day temperatures are low, pollutants have made the air heavier. The dispersion has not been fast either, since wind speed is low,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “Until wind speed picks up or moisture levels come down, current pollution levels are likely to prevail.”
According to the weather department, night temperatures were almost a degree Celsius below normal with Santacruz recording 16.6 degrees Celsius while Colaba recorded 20 degrees Celsius.
For the third day in a row, moisture levels were high as Colaba and Santacruz recorded 89% and 86% humidity on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, six of 10 locations recorded ‘very poor’ air quality with Mazagaon being the most polluted, almost touching ‘severe’ levels with an AQI of 395. Navi Mumbai and Andheri followed with AQI levels at 341 and 340 respectively. Bandra Kurla Complex, Borivali and Chembur, all recorded ‘very poor’ air as well.
While all remaining locations recorded ‘poor’ AQI levels, Worli had the cleanest air in the city at 220 (poor).