Delhi’s air in ‘very poor’ category, projected to worsen to ‘severe’
Delhi will have a partly cloudy sky with shallow fog on Wednesday morning as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast. The city’s air quality was at the higher-end of the very poor category early morning. The minimum temperature is likely to be 9 degrees Celsius with the maximum predicted to reach 26 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. The minimum temperature on Tuesday was 10 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal and the maximum temperature was 27 degrees Celsius -- one degree below normal.
As per the data from the Central Pollution Control Board, air quality index (AQI) at 7am stood at 392. On Tuesday, the average 24-hour AQI was in the severe category at 403. The prominent pollutants in Delhi’s air were PM2.5 and PM10. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
On Tuesday, the Union ministry of earth science’s air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar) said that air pollution levels in Delhi may grow worse due to drop in wind speed.
“The AQI today indicates very poor category. AQI is likely to reach the higher end of very poor category by tonight and then slip to Lower end of Severe category by tomorrow. Surface Winds are likely to be very calm with a low ventilation index pushing AQI to severe by tomorrow and fluctuate between severe to upper end of very poor thereafter until 18th Nov,” a statement by SAFAR said.
The agency added that intrusion of stubble burning related pollutants into Delhi was unlikely for the next two days due to unfavourable winds coming from east direction, also called transport level winds.
“The effective farm fire count has reduced to 1820 and its contribution to Delhi’s PM2.5 today is 8%. The peak in fire count appears to have reached last week and fire counts are now starting to show a declining trend which is delayed by about 1 week from the previous year due to late withdrawal of the monsoon,” SAFAR statement said.