Very dense fog warning, air quality worsens as smog engulfs Noida, Ghaziabad
Noida: The city and adjoining areas are likely to witness very dense fog for the next two days, which will bring the visibility down to less than 50 metres, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned on Saturday.
Also, the air quality of Noida and Ghaziabad worsened further on Saturday as a thick layer of smog engulfed the region. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), both the cities continued to be the most polluted in the country – a third over the past five days.
According to the weather department, while the wind directions are westerly and north-westerly – dry and cold – the low wind speed that goes almost nil during the morning hours is leading to fog.
“The region will see very dense fog for the next two days, which will bring down the visibility to less than 50 metres. The morning hours from 4am to 9am is the time of highest probability of the very dense fog in the region,” said an official at IMD.
According to IMD, the maximum and minimum temperatures are around the season’s average. On Saturday, the maximum and minimum temperatures for Noida was recorded at 26.6 degrees Celsius and 13.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.
While the entire region remained engulfed by a layer of smog, Ghaziabad’s air quality slipped into ‘severe’ category again, being the top polluted city of the country, followed by Noida as the second most polluted city.
With the weather conditions likely to remain the same for the next 48 hours, the pollution monitoring agencies see no major change in the pollution levels.
According to the weather analysts, with no wind to ventilate off the particle pollutants, the fog layer thickens during the morning hours and leaves smog – mixture of pollutants and moisture – for the rest of the day. “The wind speed in the NCR is very low while the emissions are constant. Since the ventilation conditions are so poor, the particles cannot disperse, and they mix with the fog creating smog through the day. This condition may persist for a couple of days,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president (meteorology and climate change) at Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency.
According to CPCB, the air quality index (AQI) of Noida on Saturday was 386 against 363 a day earlier, both under ‘very poor’ category and second most polluted city on both days.
However, Ghaziabad’s air on Saturday again entered ‘severe’ zone with an AQI of 401 against 375 a day earlier – the most polluted city in the country just like on February 9 and 10 and 12. The AQI of Greater Noida was 363 against 352 a day earlier.
AQI between 101 to 200 is considered ‘moderate’, between 201 and 300 is ‘poor’, between 301 and 400 is ‘very poor’ and above 400 is considered ‘severe’.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality is likely to improve after February 15. “Surface winds are low. The ventilation is likely to stay in the same range and no significant change in AQI is expecting for the next couple of days. AQI is likely to stay in the very poor category for tomorrow. AQI likely to marginally improve to lower end of very poor to poor category is forecasted for February 15 and 16,” said a SAFAR statement on Saturday.