Mercury surges past 30°C on bad air day in Delhi
Sunday’s maximum was a slight increase from the 29.6°C recorded on Saturday. However, IMD predicts that Monday’s high will hover around 32°C.
Delhi’s maximum temperature on Sunday breached the 30-degree mark for the first time this season, settling at 31.5 degrees Celsius (°C) — seven degrees over normal for this time of the year, India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed.
Sunday’s maximum was a slight increase from the 29.6°C recorded on Saturday. However, the temperature is only expected to rise in the coming days, with IMD predicting that Monday’s high will hover around 32°C.
“A partly cloudy sky with shallow fog in the morning is expected on Monday,” the forecast said, adding that the day temperatures are likely to hover around the 30-32°C range over the next seven days.
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The minimum temperature on Sunday, meanwhile, was logged at 11.4°C, which is normal for this time of the year. This was a very slight dip from the 11.7°C recorded on Saturday. According to IMD’s weekly forecast, Monday’s minimum may touch 12°C.
The rise in temperature was accompanied by a slight dip in pollution levels but continued to be in the “very poor” zone, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 331. In contrast, the city’s AQI reading on Saturday was 371 (very poor).
An AQI reading 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“.
Experts said the poor air quality was on account of calm surface winds, particularly during the night, which were not favourable for the effective dispersion of pollutants.
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“Calm/low winds reduce dispersion and are likely to degrade air quality. Air quality is likely to deteriorate but stay within the ‘very poor’ zone for the next three days due to weak dispersion by low surface wind speed,” the ministry of earth science’s air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), forecast on Sunday.
Earlier in the week, Delhi had seen four days of moderate air, but after pollution levels rose to the “poor” zone on Thursday, the drop in air quality, and forecasts that the pollutions levels were to worsen, prompted the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to invoke measures under Stage 2 of the graded response action plan (Grap).
CAQM in a statement said: “The sub-Committee decides to invoke all actions as envisaged under Stage II of the GRAP -’Very Poor’ air quality Delhi AQI ranging between 301-400 to be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR.”
The restrictions in place include a ban on diesel generator sets (barring emergency and essential service locations), and a ban on allowing coal and firewood in tandoors in hotels, restaurants and eateries.