AQI at 190, Mumbai breathes cleanest air this year
The city breathed its cleanest air this year on Friday as westerly winds blowing from the north-west of India cleared up pollutants dispersed in the air. An overall air quality index (AQI)—a pollutant measuring indicator— of 190 was measured on Friday, which was in the moderate category for the first time in 2021.
According to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality had remained in the poor to the very poor category since the beginning of January owing to low temperatures. On January 8, the AQI was the worst at 317 (very poor) for this year. However, with the onset of westerly winds, the air has cleared up.
“Winds blowing from the north and west has cleared the air of pollutants. If the wind continues, air quality will remain moderate for the next couple of days, despite a drop in temperatures. However, without the winds, air quality may become worse,” said a spokesperson from SAFAR. Navi Mumbai, however, recorded very poor air with the AQI being measured at 350. Along with the western suburbs, Malad had the worst air with an AQI of 211 (poor).
Day and night also turned pleasant on Friday as temperatures dropped significantly in the city providing relief from week-long heat conditions. At Santacruz, the minimum temperature dropped to 19.5 degrees Celsius, two degrees above normal. The Colaba observatory of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. While this was 2 degrees above normal, the minimum temperature was much lower than Monday’s minimum temperature of 23.5, the highest in a decade.
Meanwhile, maximum temperatures remained below normal. Santacruz reported a maximum temperature of 31 degrees Celsius, which was 0.8 degrees below normal. At Colaba, the maximum temperature dropped a degree below 30 degrees Celsius and was 1.1 degrees below normal.
“IMD had forecast that temperatures would drop from Friday for the next few days as westerly winds have started blowing over parts of the state. Since parts of north-west India are under the influence of a cold wave, north-westerly winds from these parts are colder,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general of the western region, IMD.
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