Air quality dips in Mumbai as cold wave continues in northern India
The ongoing cold wave in north-western India had an impact on the air quality in Mumbai on Friday, with many parts of the city reporting poor to very poor quality of air.
The city recorded an air quality index (AQI)—a pollutant measuring indicator—of 218 on Friday, falling in the poor quality category. The AQI was calculated by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) as the average of indices recorded at 10 locations in the city and suburbs.
This is the poorest quality of air the city has had since December 5 when the AQI shot up to 225. SAFAR categorizes AQI levels for PM2.5 in the 0-50 range as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.
Bandra Kurla Complex recorded the poorest air quality with an AQI of 362, followed by Navi Mumbai where an AQI of 329 was recorded—both in the very poor category. SAFAR has predicted that air quality will remain poor on Saturday as well.
“The poor air quality is primarily because of the cold wave which is likely to continue for at least two-three days. At the same time, now the air flow has changed and more wind is coming in from the land, rather than the sea. The air quality from the land is poorer,” said a spokesperson for SAFAR.
While north-western India is reeling under a severe cold wave, temperatures in Mumbai were relatively high. Colaba recorded a maximum temperature of 31.6 degrees Celsius, only 0.7 degrees below the normal temperature. The Santacruz station of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a maximum temperature of 32.9 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature at the Colaba station was 22 degree Celsius and at Santacruz was 21.2 degree Celsius. KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD, said that temperatures are likely to drop in the last week of December.