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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Temperature dip, change in wind direction to worsen Gurugram air quality next week

So far, strong westerly winds, coupled with relatively warmer temperatures for this time of the year, have kept severe pollution levels at bay.

gurugram Updated: Oct 23, 2019 12:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
A traffic police personnel wearing anti-air pollution mask, at Hero Honda Chowk, in Gurugram,  on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
A traffic police personnel wearing anti-air pollution mask, at Hero Honda Chowk, in Gurugram, on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
         

Air quality in the city has remained between the ‘moderate’ and ‘poor’ categories of the air quality index (AQI) this past week, but is set to worsen over the next week due to fluctuations in wind pattern as well as temperature, officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.

So far, strong westerly winds, coupled with relatively warmer temperatures for this time of the year, have kept severe pollution levels at bay. On Tuesday, Gurugram continued to be the least polluted among major NCR cities for the third consecutive day, with a score of 174 (moderate) on the CPCB’s AQI bulletin.

On Tuesday, however, the minimum temperature dropped to 16.5 degrees Celsius, from 18.3 degrees Celsius the previous day. The minimum temperature is expected to fall by another two degrees Celsius over the next week, according to forecasts by the IMD

“The minimum temperature will likely be 14 or 15 degrees Celsius towards the end of next week,” an IMD official said.

The maximum temperature, meanwhile, also fell by about a degree Celsius, dipping to 30.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, from 31.6 degrees Celsius the previous day.

“As the temperature drops, it will cause air pollutants to settle closer to the surface of the earth,” a scientist at the CPCB’s air quality lab in Delhi said, warning of rising pollution levels.

“Moreover, winds which have, so far, been blowing from the west are expected to change direction around October 24, when the wind will start blowing from the east. It will cause transportation of dust toward Gurugram to an extent,” the official added.

Air quality in Gurugram, according to the CPCB, is expected to touch ‘very poor’ level only around the second week of November, when the maximum temperature is expected to fall to about 26 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperatures to about 12 degrees Celsius. “That’s when the winter pollution cycle will have properly kicked in,” said Sachin Panwar, an independent, city-based air quality scientist.

Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior scientist at the IMD, said, “There is no official definition of the arrival of winter. The general parameter is when the minimum temperature falls to around 10-12 degrees Celsius, which is expected to happen mid-November.”