Gurugram breathes easier as wind picks up
On Saturday morning, the cloudy skies gave way to sunshine and the day temperature rose to 28.5 degrees Celsius, from 27.3 degrees Celsius, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The minimum temperature also rose, to 16 degrees Celsius, from 15 degrees Celsius on Friday.Updated: Nov 16, 2019 22:30 IST
The city breathed a little easier on Saturday as faster winds dispersed pollutants, improving the air quality. Gurugram recorded a score of 360 on the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality index (AQI), at ‘very poor’, an improvement from four straight days of ‘severe’ air, according to the CPCB monitor at Vikas Sadan in Sector 11.
On Saturday morning, the cloudy skies gave way to sunshine and the day temperature rose to 28.5 degrees Celsius, from 27.3 degrees Celsius, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The minimum temperature also rose, to 16 degrees Celsius, from 15 degrees Celsius on Friday.
The visibility on Saturday morning was around 900 metres, as compared to 800 metres on Friday. It is expected to improve further, till Monday.
The minimum temperature is expected to drop to 13 degrees Celsius on Sunday, and further to 11 degrees Celsius early next week. According to the IMD, the next two to three days are expected to be mostly clear and the day temperature could fall to 25 degrees Celsius.
Officials of the CPCB have predicted more winds and isolated spells of rain on Sunday, which could further improve the air quality, bringing relief to residents in the weekend.
The air quality was at ‘severe’ level in Gurugram from Tuesday to Friday, as low-speed winds had failed to disperse pollutants arising from farm fire in neighbouring states and those accumulated locally. Wind speed had averaged around six kilometres per hour (kmph) during the period, according to the IMD.
However, on Saturday, the wind speed increased to around 18 kmph during the day, as recorded by the IMD’s Palam observatory, thus, creating favourable conditions for dispersal of pollutants. From 350 (very poor) at 8am on Saturday, the AQI came down to 155 (moderate) around 3.30 pm, as per the CPCB’s data.
The level of ultrafine particulate matter, having a diameter less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5), also decreased from 180µg/m3 on Saturday morning to 80µg/m3 in the afternoon. The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60µg/m3.
“Farm fires in Haryana and Punjab reduced on Friday and Saturday. With favourable wind speed, pollution levels are expected to be in the upper-end of the ‘poor’ category or the lower-end of the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday and Monday,” said VK Shukla, head of the air quality lab, CPCB.
Strong surface winds, with a speed of 18-20 kmph, have been predicted on Sunday and Monday too.
However, experts said the winds might subside on Tuesday and the conditions for dispersal of pollutants could become unfavourable again. “The northwesterly winds are still carrying smoke from farm fires in neighbouring states and so, when the wind speed subsides, pollution levels could rise again,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, meteorology, Skymet weather services.