While air quality index (AQI) improved on Saturday, there was a thin layer of smog and cloud cover over Mumbai.(PPratik Chorge/Hindustan Times)
While air quality index (AQI) improved on Saturday, there was a thin layer of smog and cloud cover over Mumbai.(PPratik Chorge/Hindustan Times)

Cyclone Nivar helps improve Mumbai’s air

The air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 123 (moderate) on Saturday from Friday’s 218 (poor)
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 12:37 AM IST

After witnessing poor air quality for three days, the city on Saturday saw an improvement in air quality with an increase in wind speed and rise in minimum temperature owing to partly cloudy conditions. The air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 123 (moderate) on Saturday from Friday’s 218 (poor). On Wednesday, AQI was 201 (poor) while on Thursday, the city recorded the worst air quality in eight months with an AQI of 252 (poor).

The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the air quality improvement was an after effect of the remnants of Cyclone Nivar, which made landfall over the east coast as a very severe cyclonic storm north of Puducherry late on Wednesday. The cyclone subsequently weakened and dissipated as it moved over peninsular India.

Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR, and scientist of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, said, “Under the influence of the remnants of Cyclone Nivar, winds over coastal and interior Maharashtra suddenly became fast between late Friday night and early Saturday morning, which helped disperse pollutants that accumulated closer to the surface. A marginal rise in morning temperatures also helped reduce the carrying capacity of pollutants in air.”

Beig added that depending on the intensity of winds, AQI was expected to fluctuate within the moderate category in the next three days. It is expected to be 120 (moderate) on Sunday.

On Saturday, Mazagaon (242) and Chembur (208) were the most polluted locations in the city, recording poor air quality, while Navi Mumbai (71) and Worli (88) had the cleanest air with the AQI in the satisfactory category.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in south Mumbai increased to 24 degrees Celsius, 2 degree Celsius above normal, while the suburbs recorded 23.2 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in south Mumbai fell below the normal mark on Friday and was at 31.7 degrees Celsius. The day temperature in the suburbs dropped from 34.4 degrees Celsius to 33.3 degrees Celsius, which was close to the normal mark.

“Mostly due to the post-cyclone effect, almost the entire state was under cloud cover on Saturday, as the remnants of the system pushed a lot of moisture, contributing to high clouds, which can lower the visibility, lead to some drizzle and lower the temperatures, too,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD.

He said light drizzling was reported from Solapur, and other areas in interior Maharashtra could also witness light showers.

IMD has predicted a partly cloudy sky for Sunday.

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