Dust-laden winds from Rajasthan blow over Delhi, air quality deteriorates
Dust-laden winds from Rajasthan have started blowing over Delhi, leading to a deterioration in air quality and visibility.
The air quality index at 3pm on Tuesday was 221 in “poor” category. Scientists from India Meteorological Department (IMD) said air quality is likely to deteriorate further as strong, westerly winds are likely to blow over the city till April 1.
“The change in the colour of sky is mainly due to dust. Dust particles from Rajasthan are affecting air quality. Westerly winds are blowing at about 40 kmph. These conditions will continue till April 1 following which temperature will rise further. There may be minor reduction in the maximum temperature today compared to yesterday because of strong winds,” said Kuldeep Shrivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre.
Heatwave conditions are likely in some parts of central, west and northwest India with severe heatwave conditions in isolated pockets over West Rajasthan, according to IMD.
Heatwave conditions are likely in pockets over Himachal Pradesh, east Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Kutch and Madhya Pradesh on March 29 and 30; Vidarbha and Odisha on March 30, 31 and 1.
Severe heat wave affected Delhi on Sunday as maximum temperature was 40.1 degree C (°C), 8°C above normal which is also the highest March temperature after March 31, 1945 .
Dust raising strong surface winds (speed reaching 30-40 kmph) are very likely over Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh between March 30 and April 1.
According to IMD, heatwave is recorded when departure of the maximum temperature from normal is + 4°C to + 5°C or more for the regions where the normal maximum temperature is more than 40°C. Another criterion for IMD to declare heat wave is when departure of maximum temperature from normal is + 5°C to + 6°C for regions where the normal maximum temperature is 40°C or less. (Heatwave is declared only when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for plains and at least 30°C for hilly regions).
Heatwave can also declared when actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more for a day, irrespective of the normal maximum temperature, officials said.