Bad air days are back for Mumbai after two days of respite
After two days of relatively cleaner air, the city saw air quality worsen significantly on Sunday. Pollution levels were in the very poor category in many parts as wind speeds, and temperatures remained low.
The air quality index (AQI) has soared to 252 and fallen in the poor category as temperatures remained low, causing pollutants to be trapped in the air.
The city breathed its cleanest air this year on Saturday with an AQI of 162 as westerly winds blowing from the northwest of India cleared up pollutants in the air. On Friday, the AQI was 190, which was in the moderate category for the first time in 2021.
The AQI was calculated by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) as the average of indices recorded at 10 locations in the city and suburbs. SAFAR categorises AQI levels for PM2.5 in the 0-50 range as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.
“Due to low wind speed, low dispersion, and influence of oceanic air mass, Mumbai AQI is likely to remain in moderate to poor category for the next two days,” said a spokesperson from SAFAR.
The air quality was the worst of all 10 locations at Navi Mumbai, with an AQI of 366 (very poor). Malad recorded an AQI of 331, BKC was at 308 and Andheri recorded AQI of 306, all in the very poor category.
Day and night were pleasant as temperatures remained low on Sunday. At Santacruz, the minimum temperature dropped to 18.2 degrees Celsius, 1 degree above normal. The Colaba observatory of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a minimum temperature of 20.6 degrees Celsius, 1 degree above normal.
Santacruz reported a maximum temperature of 31.3 degrees Celsius, which was at par with normal. At Colaba, the maximum temperature dropped a degree below 29 degrees Celsius and was one degree below normal.
“Winter returns for the state. Dry weather is expected over the region during the next five days as a gradual fall in temperatures by 2-4 degrees Celsius is expected from January 19,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general, western region, IMD.
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- The Santacruz station of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which is indicative of the city’s temperature, recorded a maximum temperature of 36.3 degrees Celsius on Sunday, which was at par with the season’s highest temperature recorded on February 2 and 21.