Delhi: After a day’s respite, air quality dips back to ‘very poor’
Following a short-lived respite on Wednesday, air quality in the national Capital dipped back into the “very poor” category on Thursday with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 381 as per data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) at 7am.
On Wednesday, Delhi’s pollution levels had improved marginally and its AQI reading was in the “poor” category for the first time in six days due to the strong winds that blew over the city the previous day.
Air quality enters the very poor zone between the 301-400 mark and crosses over to the severe zone after exceeding 400. Delhi’s average 24-hour AQI reading was 297 on Wednesday, marginally down from Tuesday’s 312.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientists explained that even though winds were calm on Wednesday, Delhi’s pollution cleared up significantly in the first half of the day because of the impact of Tuesday’s strong winds. Noon onwards, however, the air quality began to dip and the AQI reading settled just a few points short of the “very poor” zone.
“The wind speed was around 4kmph during the day, but calmed after sundown. The impact of this will be seen on Thursday as well. The wind speed will remain low and air quality will deteriorate, but remain in the ‘very poor’ zone,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.
VK Soni, the head of IMD’s environment monitoring research centre, also said Delhi’s air quality was likely to deteriorate further on Thursday. However, he predicted that the city’s air would improve significantly between Friday and Sunday, with wind speeds likely to touch 15kmph on Friday.
“There is a trough formation, which will lead to a significant improvement in wind speed over the Capital, and this will lead to better dispersion of pollutants. On Sunday, the forecast is that we will see an improvement in the air,” Soni said.
Meanwhile, according to the forecast by IMD’s regional meteorological centre, Delhi, the weather will largely remain misty on Thursday with a likely minimum temperature of 15°C.
On Wednesday, the city recorded a maximum temperature of 30.9°C which is the normal temperature for this time. The minimum temperature, however, dropped to two degrees below normal at 13.8°C.