Cloud cover warms up Mumbai, today’s air pollution level the worst so far in 2018
High humidity level raises temperature, phenomenon expected to continue till Friday; expect cloudy skies tomorrow, tooUpdated: Feb 07, 2018 16:54 IST
A cloud cover over the city led to a significant rise in minimum temperatures, even as the Air Quality Index (AQI), a pollutant-measuring indicator, worsened on Wednesday morning.
While Santacruz recorded 21.5 degrees Celsius, which is 4.3 degrees above normal, Colaba recorded 23 degrees Celsius, 3.6 degrees above normal levels.
At 268, Tuesday had recorded the worst AQI the city has experienced since last Diwali. On Wednesday, the AQI worsened at 275 (rated ‘poor’) — it is the worst air quality the city has seen so far this year.
Researchers from the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which measures the AQI, said air quality is expected to improve from Thursday. “We expect pollution levels to continue in the ‘poor’ category till Thursday as western disturbances are pulling in a lot of moisture, which allows pollutants to be suspended close to the Earth’s surface,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “If there’s more sunshine, the heat will reduce the moisture and pollution levels.”
Thursday’s AQI is forecast to be around 265 (poor).
The weather bureau on Tuesday had predicted the rise in night temperatures, which is a result of the increase in moisture levels. “As the withdrawal of western disturbance over northern India continues, high humidity levels will lead to cloud cover over Mumbai. This traps the heat during the night, and the phenomenon is expected to continue till Friday,” said Ajay Kumar, scientist, Regional Meteorological Centre, India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The humidity level recorded at Colaba was 88%, and at Santacruz it was 69%.
The weather bureau has predicted a partly cloudy sky for Thursday, too.