Air quality improves, mercury set to rise over the weekend
Air quality in the city improved marginally on Thursday, to a reading of 119 (‘moderate’) on the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality index (AQI) bulletin at 4pm. Air quality on Wednesday was recorded at 121 (‘moderate’), as per the CPCB data.
Air quality in Manesar and Faridabad too was in the ‘moderate’ category, with readings of 104 and 158 on the CPCB daily bulletin, respectively. Experts said the ‘moderate’ air quality was a result of fast winds, of around 12 kilometres per hour, and clear skies.
Moderate fog was reported in the city on Thursday morning, with the visibility dropping to 200 metres at 8.30am from 1,500 metres at 5.30am, according to the IMD’s Palam observatory.
However, with the wind speed expected to reduce to around 8-10 kmph on Friday and Saturday, air quality in the city could fall to the ‘poor’ category, according to the CPCB’s prediction.
The level of finer particulate matter (PM2.5), having a diameter less than 2.5 microns, was recorded at 75ug/m3 on Thursday, up from 56ug/m3 the previous day. The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60ug/m3, according to the national ambient air quality standards.
On Thursday, both the minimum and maximum temperatures in the city fell by around a degree Celsius.
The minimum temperature on Thursday dropped to 8 degrees Celsius from 10.2 degrees Celsius the previous day, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The maximum temperature was recorded at 19 degrees Celsius on Thursday, recording a drop of one degree Celsius from Wednesday’s maximum temperature, as per the IMD data.
Both the maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to increase by around two degrees Celsius by Sunday, according to the MeT department.
“The minimum temperature is likely to rise to 10 degrees Celsius on Friday and stay the same over the weekend. The maximum temperature is expected to rise to 20 degrees Celsius on Friday and by another degree Celsius over the weekend,” an IMD spokesperson said.
Shallow to moderate fog is predicted early morning this week, said weather experts.