Delhi’s air quality to slip into poor category as farm fires pick up
Delhi is likely to experience mainly clear skies on Monday as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast and the minimum temperature in the city is likely to be 24 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature is predicted to reach 36 degrees Celsius.
The maximum temperature was 36.6 degrees Celsius on Sunday which was three degrees above normal and the minimum temperature was 22.7 degrees Celsius – two notches above normal.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s air quality was in the moderate category on Monday morning. Data from the Central Pollution Control Board showed that the hourly air quality index (AQI) at 7 am stood at 165. On Sunday, the average 24-hour AQI had been 168, which is also in the moderate category.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
On Sunday, the Union ministry of earth science’s air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (Safar) said, “Delhi’s AQI is in the moderate category with PM10 as fire emission upwind along with local and regional dust under dry conditions. With presence of such dry condition combined with both fire emission and dust suspension, the AQI will degrade to be in the poor category for next 3 days.”
With the withdrawal of monsoon from Delhi and other parts of northwest India on Friday, the capital’s recent run of clear, clean, cerulean skies has started to give way to the annual veil of smog, borne largely by stubble fires in neighbouring states.
Data from the central pollution watchdog shows that the city’s air quality has seen a gradual, but sustained, drop over the past 10 days. And as farm fires pick up in Haryana and Punjab, Delhi’s air is only likely to get worse over the coming week.