No rain, air still ‘severe’ in Delhi; this January second worst in 3 years
Meteorologists have forecast that the night temperature could start dropping by at least 3°C by Wednesday. Pollution is also expected to dip marginally but the air quality would remain in ‘very poor’ zone.Updated: Jan 14, 2019 10:14 IST
With rain giving the Capital the slip on Sunday, the city air remained in the “severe” zone for the second consecutive day.
This is the fifth such day this month that air in Delhi remained under the severe condition. While in January 2016, there were at least six severely polluted days, in January 2017 there were none. In January 2018, Delhi again witnessed at least three severely polluted days.
“While most parts of Punjab and isolated parts of Haryana received light rain, there was snowfall in many places across Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Delhi, however, didn’t receive any rain,” said a senior official of the India Meteorological Department.
Meteorologists have forecast that the night temperature could start dropping by at least 3°C by Wednesday. Pollution is also expected to dip marginally but the air quality would remain in ‘very poor’ zone.
On Sunday the Air Quality Index (AQI) value was 414. It was 423 on Saturday. On a scale of 0 – 500, an AQI value above 400 is considered to be ‘severe’. According to the index such an unhealthy air could not just affect people with respiratory and cardiac ailments but even healthy citizens.
“In the National Capital Region the overall concentration of PM2.5 – the smaller and more harmful of the particulate matter – was more than four times above the permissible limits and moving closer to the emergency levels. The level was PM10 was still in the very poor level,” said a senior official of the Central Pollution Control Board.
The multi-agency task force headed by the CPCB is likely to meet on Monday and issue recommendations if the air quality doesn’t improve. The last time the air quality turned severe on January 5, the task force had banned the entry of trucks for 24 hours.
Government agencies such as Safar, which works under the ministry of earth sciences, have said that air quality could improve on Monday but would remain in the very poor zone for the next three days at least.
On Sunday both the day temperature and night temperature were above normal. While the minimum temperature was 8.5 degrees Celsius and was one degree above normal, the maximum temperature was 23.5 degrees Celsius and was three degrees above normal.
“The night temperature is expected to drop to around 5 degrees Celsius by Wednesday once the effect of the western disturbance, which triggered rain and snow, fades,” said a senior IMD official.
First Published: Jan 14, 2019 10:13 IST