Mercury falls in Gurugram after light rain, air likely to remain ‘very poor’
The city recorded a drop in the daytime temperature on Thursday after it rained intermittently since the morning, with the maximum temperature recorded at 18.6 degrees Celsius (°C) -- seven degrees below the normal. The minimum temperature, meanwhile, was recorded at 11.5 degrees Celsius -- four degrees above the normal.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Gurugram received a rainfall of 4mm till 5:30pm on Thursday. It rained due to a western disturbance, and the city witnessed cloudy skies since Wednesday, said officials.
A weather bulletin issued by the Meteorological (Met) Centre Chandigarh on Thursday evening -- a regional centre of the IMD -- predicted that Haryana is likely to see mist or shallow fog at isolated places from Thursday to Sunday.
“Under the influence of a western disturbance, seen as a cyclonic circulation over North Pakistan and the neighbourhood, isolated to scattered rainfall has been likely in Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh between December 2 and 3. Due to this, Gurugram received a light rainfall on Thursday, which also brought down the maximum temperature by almost seven degrees below the normal,” said Manmohan Singh, director of Met Centre Chandigarh.
At 377, Gurugram on Thursday recorded the air quality index (AQI) in the ‘very poor’ category for the ninth consecutive day, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. Neighbouring Delhi and Faridabad recorded the AQIs at 429 and 428, respectively, both in the ‘severe’ category. In Gurugram, only the Gwal Pahari weather station recorded the AQI in the ‘severe’ zone on Thursday.
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’.
Kuldeep Singh, regional officer of Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) for Gurugram (north), said, “The air quality has been slightly better in Gurugram following the strict implementation of all directions by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM). Teams of officials are keeping everything in check, and people violating norms are being penalised... Only the Gwal Pahari weather station recorded the air quality in the ‘severe’ category as local sources of pollution, such as road dust, is higher. But we have intensified the sprinkling of water there too.”
City-based air quality experts, however, said that the difference in the quality of air in Delhi and Gurugram was due to different wind directions.
Sachin Panwar, a Gurugram-based independent air quality scientist, said, “The actual difference in particulate matter (PM2.5) levels between both the cities is not much. The only difference is due to the wind direction. Delhi has primarily seen northwestern wind direction in the past few days, and Gurugram has seen westerly and northeasterly winds. That is why the surface wind in Gurugram was higher, and the pollutants could be dispersed.”
Thursday’s rain is likely to help in bringing down the pollution levels in Gurugram over the next 24 hours, only if the intensity increases or the rain continues for a longer duration, he added. “The city is likely to see rainfall on Friday too, but if not, the air quality can worsen due to high moisture content in the air as the pollutants will get trapped and hold up in the lower atmosphere,” Panwar said.
According to the Air Quality Early Warning System (AQEWS) forecast for Delhi-NCR, winds are likely to remain slow or calm in the region between December 3 and 5, which is unfavourable for the dispersion of pollutants. The air quality is likely to remain in the ‘very poor’ category because of this, according to the forecast.