Despite heavy smog, city air quality remains stable
Despite the presence of dense smog on Sunday morning, the city’s air quality for the day remained in the “poor” category of the Central Pollution Control Board’s(CPCB) air quality index (AQI) bulletin, for the third consecutive day.
The city recorded a minimum temperature of 10.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday, nearly four degrees below Saturday’s 14 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature stayed at 21 degrees, same as the previous day. On Monday, the minimum temperature is expected to settle at 9 degrees Celsius, as per the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) weekly forecast. A partly cloudy sky is expected to prevail on Monday, with another episode of dense to very dense fog expected in the earlier hours. Delhi-NCR may continue to see foggy mornings till Tuesday, as per the IMD.
Sunday’s AQI was 239, down from 296 the previous day. Officials attributed fog in the early hours to a steep dip in the minimum temperature triggered by isolated rainfall over parts of Delhi-NCR.
This also led to an uptick in pollution levels. However, with northwest winds blowing at a speed of about 12kpmh through the day, the smog was quickly dispersed and gave way to cleaner air in the afternoon, data from Gurugram’s air quality monitors showed. At Vikas Sadan, for example, PM2.5 levels touched as much as 389ug/m3 around 4am, but had dipped to as little as 79ug/m3 by 4pm. Similar improvements in particulate matter levels were seen across all four air quality monitoring stations operated by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board in Gurugram.
As per the early air quality warning system for Delhi-NCR, “Air quality is likely to remain in poor category on 14.12.2020 and poor to lower end of very poor category on 15.12.2020. The air quality is likely to remain in poor to lower end of very poor category till 17.12.2020 and marginal deterioration is likely to start from 18.12.2020.” Winds are expected to blow from the northwest of Delhi at speeds of up to 10kmph,