Delhi’s air quality very poor; calm winds cause accumulation of pollutants

Published on Dec 01, 2022 09:15 AM IST

The minimum temperature was expected to be around 8 degrees Celsius, compared to 8.3 degrees on Wednesday

The AQI was 365 (very poor) on Wednesday at 4pm. (AFP)
The AQI was 365 (very poor) on Wednesday at 4pm. (AFP)

Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) remained in the upper end of the “very poor” category on Thursday morning as low temperatures and calm winds have led to an accumulation of local emissions over the last two days. It recorded an AQI of 366 (very poor) at 7am. The AQI was 365 (very poor) on Wednesday at 4pm. It was expected to remain “very poor” over the next two days as conditions remain unfavourable for the dispersion of pollutants.

“Winds were from northwest/west direction during the daytime with a speed of 4-8 kmph, but became calm during night time. The AQI is expected to slightly deteriorate on Friday and Saturday but it will remain in the ‘very poor’ category,” said the Early Warning System of the Union earth sciences ministry.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 ”satisfactory”, 101 and 200 as “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 as “very poor” and over 400 “severe”.

Delhi has not had a severe air day since November 4, when the AQI was 447.

There was shallow fog and mist in the early hours of Thursday. The minimum temperature was expected to be around 8 degrees Celsius, compared to 8.3 degrees on Wednesday.

A western disturbance was influencing the northern plains and was expected to plunge minimum temperatures further from December 4. The mercury was likely to go down to 6 degrees by December 5.

“Owing to the WD [western disturbance], there is a slight rise in the minimum temperature and the same WD has also led to a change in wind speed. Once the WD leaves, local wind speed will pick up again and that can help the AQI improve slightly,” said scientist RK Jenamani.

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