Heavy rains hit parts of Delhi, pollution levels expected to drop
Some parts of the city such as south and outer Delhi received heavy rains, which India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said they expected would continue overnight, and on Friday as well.Updated: Dec 13, 2019 05:30 IST
Air quality in the city stayed in the ‘severe’ category, even as strong surface winds and heavy rains in parts lashed the capital on Thursday. Government agencies, however, said the rain and winds would play their part in washing away pollutants by Thursday night itself.
Some parts of the city such as south and outer Delhi received heavy rains, which India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said they expected would continue overnight, and on Friday as well.
Officials also said there was the possibility of hail in parts of the city, and that areas in the NCR like Noida, Greater Noida, and Rewari witnessed hailstorms around 9pm.
“Thunderstorm and rainfall with surface winds picking up pace to 20-30kmph is expected on Friday as well. This is a cumulative impact of rainfall, hailstorm and snowfall predicted in the western Himalayan region, for which a warning has been issued in those states. The impact of rain and winds will be seen by Friday morning,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.
According to the central government-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), the air quality may improve to ‘poor’ by Friday morning and to ‘moderate’ on December 14.
“While air quality is in the ‘severe’ zone now, the forecast is that it will improve rapidly and significantly from Thursday night onwards. It takes a while for pollutants that have accumulated over days to get cleared,” a senior Safar scientist said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) 4pm bulletin, the air quality index (AQI) was 429 in Delhi, as compared to 408 on Wednesday. The levels of PM 2.5 — the most harmful aerosols in Delhi’s air — recorded as 282ug/m3 at 5pm, started to fall marginally to 271 by 7pm.
However, the respite may be short-lived, as a ‘dense’ fog and an expected dip in mercury on December 15-16, may push up pollution levels again. According to CPCB officials, another spike in pollution levels is expected from December end to the first week of January owing to heavy fog and low temperatures.
The average wind speed picked up to 22-24kmph during the day, which is strong enough to clear the air. This was 8-10 kmph over the past two days.
Srivastava added that owing to the rain and strong winds, the day temperature dipped to 21.5 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average, as compared to 23 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. However, the minimum temperature was 12.8 degrees Celsius, four above normal.
The maximum temperature may dip to 19 degrees Celsius on Friday, and the minimum may settle at 13 degrees Celsius.
According to meteorologists, rains cause minimum temperatures to rise because of clouding associated with western disturbances.