Delhi: Cold wave abates, air quality worsens

Updated on Jan 02, 2022 04:49 AM IST

The city recorded a minimum temperature of 4.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday. IMD predicted that the temperatures are expected to start rising due to a fresh western disturbance that is expected to bring light showers to Delhi on January 5, 6 and 7.

Visitors enjoy a sunny day at Lodhi Garden on Saturday. The minimum temperature in Delhi rose marginally to 4.2°C. IMD has predicted rain in Delhi from January 5. The AQI also worsened by stayed in very poor zone. (Arvind Yadav)
Visitors enjoy a sunny day at Lodhi Garden on Saturday. The minimum temperature in Delhi rose marginally to 4.2°C. IMD has predicted rain in Delhi from January 5. The AQI also worsened by stayed in very poor zone. (Arvind Yadav)

New Delhi: Coldwave conditions in Delhi abated, at least statistically, on Saturday with the mercury rising marginally above four degrees on Saturday after two days staying below 4°C mark -- considered the benchmark by IMD to declare a coldwave.

The city recorded a minimum temperature of 4.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday even as the IMD predicted that the temperatures are expected to start rising Monday onwards due to a fresh western disturbance (WD) that is expected to bring light showers to Delhi on January 5, 6 and 7.

The IMD declares a coldwave in a region, when the minimum temperature is 4.5 degrees or more below the normal mark, or when it drops to 4 degrees or lower. Delhi recorded coldwave conditions on both December 30 and 31, with Safdarjung (3.8 degrees), Lodhi road (4 degrees) and Ayanagar (4 degrees) the stations meeting the criteria.

The lowest minimum of the season so far has been 3.2 degrees Celsius, recorded at Safdarjung on December 20.

On Saturday, Lodhi Road, Jafarpur and Safdarjung stations recorded 4.2 degrees Celsius, which is around three degrees below the normal mark for this time of the season. The maximum temperature was recorded at 20.2 degrees Celsius – one degree above normal.

“Temperature will begin rising from Monday onwards and the minimum could touch 10 degrees Celsius by January 5. Overcast skies and light rain will meanwhile bring down the day-time temperature and make the day of January 5 and 6 cold, with the maximum expected to be below 20 degrees,” said Jenamani.

According to the forecast, shallow to moderate fog is expected in the region on Sunday, with the maximum and minimum likely to hover around 21 and 4 degrees Celsius respectively.

Meanwhile, a combination of low temperatures and cracker bursting on New Year’s eve led to deterioration of air quality in Delhi with the Central Pollution Control Board recording an air quality index of 362 (very poor) on Saturday. On Friday, Delhi’s AQI was recorded at 321 (very poor).

Forecasts by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (Safar), a body under the ministry of earth sciences, predicted on Friday that air quality will deteriorate over the next three days, owing to firecracker emissions and coldwave conditions.

Gufran Beig, founder project director at Safar however said adverse weather conditions played a key role in deterioration of air quality. “We had forecast both coldwave and firecracker emissions to impact Delhi, but the deterioration has not been too sharp. This indicates it was mainly due to the low temperatures prevailing in the region,” said Beig, stating air quality was unlikely to improve in the next three days, but a severe spell was also unlikely.

Also, the sub-committee on Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) has lifted the ban on operation of stone crushers and hot-mix plants in NCR, according to an official order dated December 30, stating that air quality was unlikely to hit severe zone (AQI 401-500) until January 5.

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