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Oct 13, 2018-Saturday
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Minimum temperature drops in Delhi, air quality improves

The air quality index values on Friday were recorded at 154, in the moderate category, as against Thursday’s 210, in the poor category.

delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2018 07:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi air,Delhi temperature,India Meteorological Department
The national capital woke up to a chilly Friday, quite unusual for this time of the year when the city’s weather is in transition from monsoon to winter.(HT File PHOTO)

The national capital woke up to a chilly Friday, quite unusual for this time of the year when the city’s weather is in transition from monsoon to winter. The minimum temperature dropped to 17.5 degrees Celsius — the lowest minimum in seven years between October 1 and 15, officials in the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The cold winds also cleared the air, pushing the air quality up to moderate level, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s air quality index (AQI), after remaining in the poor category for four consecutive days this week.

IMD officials said thundershowers in the National Capital Region and snowfall in northwest India, including Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, along with strong cold winds have resulted in a sharp fall in the mercury. The minimum temperature was at least three degrees below the normal for this time of the year, which is around 20 degrees Celsius.

“The snowfall, as a result of a western disturbance in J-K and Himachal Pradesh, triggered a flow of cold winds, which brought down the temperature in the plains. Usually, the temperature falls below 20 degrees Celsius only by October-end,” B P Yadav, deputy director-general, IMD, said.

The temperature had dropped below 17 degrees Celsius over the past few years only after mid-October.

A senior IMD official said the temperature is set to rise again over the weekend, as the western disturbance has started to settle.

The maximum and minimum temperature on Saturday is expected to hover around 33 degrees Celsius and 19 degrees Celsius, respectively. “The mercury is likely to dip again after October 15, which may mark the onset of winter,” the official said.

The air quality index values on Friday were recorded at 154, in the moderate category, as against Thursday’s 210, in the poor category. “According to the IMD, air quality has improved owing to high wind speeds and favourable weather conditions. The AQI is likely to remain in the moderate category on Saturday as well,” a senior CPCB official said.

The graded response action plan, to mitigate air pollution, will come into force from October 15, officials said.

CM says Delhi will become ‘gas chamber’

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said Delhi-NCR will again become a gas chamber during winter, as stubble burning continues unabated in neighbouring states. “We have been pursuing the issue with Central, Haryana and Punjab govts, yet no concrete action has been taken. Farmers again helpless. The entire region including Delhi will again become gas chamber. People will again face difficulty in breathing. This is criminal (sic),” the CM tweeted.

Kejriwal’s remark came after environment minister Imran Hussain issued a statement containing pictures of stubble burning in the neighbouring states.

Calling it ‘evidence’ of stubble burning, Hussain said he was pained to see such instances along the Delhi-Chandigarh National Highway. “Instances of stumble burning sighted. Have again requested Central Govt & States Govt of Punjab, Haryana, UP & Rajasthan to urgently find long term solution (sic),” Hussain tweeted.

First Published: Oct 13, 2018 07:12 IST