More dust may choke Delhi, no rain relief in sight yet

Government scientists have warned that the air quality could turn ‘very poor’ once again, as more dust from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan will be blown into the national capital. The dust plumes could reach Delhi within the next two days.
The air quality in Delhi improved marginally Friday even though the air quality index (AQI) was still hovering in the upper reaches of the ‘poor’ category.(PTI)
The air quality in Delhi improved marginally Friday even though the air quality index (AQI) was still hovering in the upper reaches of the ‘poor’ category.(PTI)
Updated on Jul 13, 2019 10:25 AM IST
Copy Link
New Delhi | By

The air quality in Delhi improved marginally Friday even though the air quality index (AQI) was still hovering in the upper reaches of the ‘poor’ category. On Thursday, the AQI, as recorded by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), was in the ‘very poor’ category after winds brought in dust from the desert regions of Rajasthan.

A sudden change in the wind direction since Wednesday had pushed up pollution levels in the national capital by almost two times. While till Wednesday morning, moisture laden winds from the south-east direction were coming in, since Wednesday evening, westerly and northwesterly winds are blowing into the city. These winds carry loads of dust from the arid regions of Rajasthan.

Government scientists have warned that the air quality could turn ‘very poor’ once again, as more dust from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan will be blown into the national capital. The dust plumes could reach Delhi within the next two days.

The AQI on Friday was 272 (poor) as compared to 317 (very poor) on Thursday.

“A fresh dust plume was sighted over Jaisalmer Friday. According to the dust cloud’s present trajectory, it is headed towards Delhi. This would push up city’s pollution levels over the next two days,” a scientist from Safar (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) said.

A statement issued by Safar Friday said only rain could bring some relief from this spike in pollution. The India Meteorological Department has, however, said chances of rain over the weekend are remote.

“There are chances of a drizzle to light rain early next week — around July 16. On Saturday, strong dust-raising winds are expected,” Kuldeep Srivastava, a scientist with the regional weather forecasting centre in Delhi, said.

On Friday, the day temperature at the Safdarjung observatory was 38.3 degrees Celsius, which was three degrees above normal. Because of the dust, the PM10 level had shot up to 399ug/m3, which was almost four times the permissible limits of 100ug/m3. On Friday, the PM10 levels dropped to around 302ug/m3, which was still three times above the permissible limit. The level of PM2.5 in the city was near the permissible limit and didn’t spike.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, January 27, 2022