Delhi air quality declines, Met says first Dec rains since 2014 may bring respite
Officials at the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre said Delhi could witness light rain on Monday night and Tuesday which might wash out pollutants. This would be the first December rain in Delhi since 2014.delhi Updated: Dec 11, 2017 10:31 IST
The air quality in Delhi remained on the higher side of ‘very poor’ on Monday morning. However, there are chances that it might improve on Tuesday as the Meteorological department has predicted rain on Monday night.
Delhi’s average Air Quality Index — a measure of pollutants in the air on a scale of 0-500 — was at 377 on Sunday. At 9am on Monday, it was at 375 which falls in the ‘very poor’ category.
However, pollution levels in some areas such as Anand Vihar and Punjabi Bagh breached the severe category on Monday shooting beyond 400. At Anand Vihar, the AQI was at 454 and at Punjabi Bagh was at 413 at 9am.
The levels of particulate matter in the air have been on the rise since Sunday. Both Particulate Matter (PM) 10 and PM 2.5 have been four times above the safe standard since Sunday night.
If the levels shoot up beyond five times, emergency measures such as shutting down of schools, rolling out of odd-even road rationing scheme and ban on construction activity will be introduced.
On Sunday, India’s official pollution forecasting system SAFAR had forecast that the capital’s air quality will dip further, however, the weather department had predicted light rain on Monday night and Tuesday which might wash out pollutants.
“We are expecting some light rain starting from Monday night. It is likely to continue till Tuesday,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior scientist with the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC).
This would be the first December rain in Delhi since 2014.
Delhi didn’t receive any rain in December in 2015 and 2016. “A strong Western Disturbance is approaching. It has already triggered a cyclonic circulation over Rajasthan. These two systems together will trigger some rain,” he added.
As loads of moisture has gushed in, because of this western disturbance, Delhi experienced a morning mist on Sunday.
The sky is likely to turn cloudy from Monday. The cloud cover and the high moisture levels would push up the night temperature. The maximum temperature is likely to drop. “The night temperature that had dropped to around 7.6 in the last week of November is expected to shoot up to around 10 degrees by Tuesday. The day temperature, which was hovering above 27 degrees Celsius on Sunday, is likely to drop to around 23 degrees Celsius,” he added.
Shallow fog and mist are expected to continue for at least two days after the rains cease, as moisture levels would be high. Delhi could expect a sharp drop in mercury levels once the cold and dry north-westerly winds start blowing. As soon as the moisture levels drops and the winds pick up speed the mist will also disappear.