Air quality of Pune during Diwali, one of the best since 2014
According to the ministry of earth sciences’ air quality forecast and research service, Safar, air quality index (AQI) for Sunday will be around 70 , while on Monday, it will be 85, and on Tuesday it will be 53 while 30 October AQI will be around 45Updated: Oct 27, 2019 16:53 IST
While the rain has cast a shadow on city’s Diwali celebration, there is good news on the air quality front. The city’s air quality ahead of Diwali has been one of the best as compared to the last five years, according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), the pollution forecasting wing of the Union government.
“The air quality index during Diwali period 2019 is one of the best mainly due to the widespread rain. Usually with dryness of winter and fireworks during Diwali, the air quality index is very poor, but this year the unique thing is that the rains are keeping the air quality better,” said Dr Gufran Beig, project director, Safar and scientist-G, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.
According to the ministry of earth sciences’ air quality forecast and research service, Safar, air quality index (AQI) for Sunday will be around 70 , while on Monday, it will be 85, and on Tuesday it will be 53 while 30 October AQI will be around 45. Most dominating factor controlling Pune air quality is rainfall towards betterment and clam winds towards slight deterioration.
An AQI between 0 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”.
The AQI during this time in 2016 and 2018 was in the very poor category, whereas, the AQI in 2017 during Diwali was in the poor category.
The pollution forecasting wing has predicted PM 2.5 (small pollutant particles, up to 2.5 microns in size, that easily enter lungs, causing ailments) particles as 42 µg/m3 on Sunday, 51 µg/m3 on Monday and 32 µg/m3 ((micrograms per cubic metre) on Tuesday.
On Saturday, the city’s PM2.5 was 20 (µg/m3) and PM10 was 30 (µg/m3), according to Safar which recorded AQI 31.
The air quality issued is based on the high-resolution atmospheric chemistry transport model known as Safar Air Quality Forecasting Model.
Though Safar predicts smoke level may push air quality maximum up to upper end of satisfactory and lower end of moderate range in Pune in the early morning hours of October 28 (0100 hrs to 0600 hrs), but it will be back to lower end of satisfactory from the next day. The most polluted areas in city are likely to be Shivajinagar and Hadapsar
Safar Air Quality Forecast for Diwali period is based on model scenarios where additional emissions due to fireworks equivalent to Diwali 2017/2018 are added in addition of local background emissions.
“Although surface winds started to become slow and temperature started to become cooler, still mixing layer (Boundary layer) height and moisture content in the atmosphere is sufficiently high to keep pollution level in check. Due to widespread geographical nature of rain, both internal and medium range transport of pollution will be slow and subdued. Under the influence of current cyclone Kyarr in Arabian Sea, it is predicted that widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls is likely over western part of India during the next two days. It is very likely to move to the West-North-West towards Oman coast. The sudden change in the monsoon dynamics, will work positively to keep air quality in satisfactory range in spite of moderate firework,” said Beig.