Mumbai sizzles, sweats as pollution rises after four months of clean air

The city can expect similar pollution levels today
A woman tries to protect her head from the heat at Dadar.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
A woman tries to protect her head from the heat at Dadar.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 12, 2017 01:13 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

The city woke up in a haze on Monday morning because of a spike in pollution levels. Muggy conditions made it uncomfortable for citizens as moisture levels were high with 92% humidity recorded in south Mumbai and 85% in the suburbs.

The pollutant-measuring indicator — air quality index (AQI) — increased to 105, falling under ‘moderate’ levels, after four months of clean air (‘good’ air quality). The city can expect similar pollution levels on Tuesday with a predicted AQI of 106 by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). AQI levels between 0-100 are good, 101-200 are moderate and 201-300 are poor.

A significant rise in mercury levels was recorded on Monday. The Santacruz weather station, representative of the suburbs and Mumbai, recorded 35.5 degrees Celsius, 5.3 degrees Celsius above normal, which is the third-highest day temperature since 2011 and fourth-highest in a decade, both for the month of September. The day temperature at the Colaba weather station was 3 degrees Celsius above normal at 33.4 degrees Celsius

The highest day temperature for the decade in this month was recorded on September 30, 2014, at 37 degrees Celsius, and the second-highest was recorded on September 30, 2015, at 36.2 degrees Celsius.

Researchers attributed the rise in pollution levels to a change in weather. “There has been a significant decline in wind speed and rise in humidity levels in Mumbai. The high moisture has allowed pollutants to get trapped closer to the surface and because there is no wind, dispersion has not taken place,” said an official from SAFAR.

Bhandup, Chembur and Navi Mumbai were the most polluted locations in the city, recording AQI levels at 209 (poor), 115 (moderate) and 128 (moderate) on Monday. Worli recorded the cleanest air in the city with good AQI levels at 66.

The weather bureau predicted thundershowers in the evening on Tuesday and Wednesday. “The wind pattern over the city has changed from cool westerly winds from the sea to warm easterly winds coming from the land. While humidity levels are high, these warm winds have led to a rise in temperatures and muggy conditions,” said TS Nitha, scientist, India Meteorological Department.

She said the current conditions are not a part of the monsoon pattern. “As the land gets heated up during the day, the possibility of thundershowers increase during the night. Also, the easterly winds are carrying dust particles with it and once it gets stranded close to the surface, it leads to haze formation,” she said.

Read more:
Beware! Dangerously rising sea level could submerge Mumbai in 100 years


    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Bus carrying 22 Jharkhand college students meets with accident in Sikkim

    Bus carrying 22 Jharkhand college students meets with accident in Sikkim

    A bus carrying 22 college students from Ranchi met with an accident in Sikkim's capital city Gangtok, said news agency ANI. Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren said on Twitter that he has spoken to his Sikkim counterpart Prem Singh Tamang regarding the incident and that proper arrangements are being made for the treatment of the children. I have instructed the RC to be ready to air lift the children as well.

  • Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

    Sena's Sanjay Raut gets fresh ED summons in Mumbai ‘chawl’ land scam case

    The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday issued a second summons to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, asking him to appear before its officials on July 1 in connection with Mumbai's Patra Chawl land scam case. The Rajya Sabha MP has been asked to bring some important documents related to the matter. The agency wants to question the 60-year-old Raut and record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

  • Punjab and Haryana high court on Punjab's excise policy. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    High court asks Punjab why excise policy should not be stayed

    The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday asked the Punjab government why the Excise Policy: 2022-23 should not be stayed. The pleas were from M/s Akash Enterprises and M/s Vijay Sharma and Harjinder Singh. The latter's plea which alleges a scam of 10,000 crore in the excise policy, seeks to make chief minister Bhagwant Mann as party in the case. The excise policy has imposed conditions which are unheard of.

  • IMD has predicted light to moderate rain in west Delhi and parts of NCR on Tuesday.

    Delhi rain: Light to moderate showers in west Delhi, NCR likely soon

    Parts of Delhi and the national capital region are likely to witness light to moderate rain over the next two hours, the India Meteorological Department said in its latest weather bulletin on Tuesday. The IMD also said that "conditions are favourable" for southwest monsoon to advance further into parts of Bihar, some more parts of UP and remaining parts of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir during next 24 hours.

  • In a controversial decision, the horticulture department has put in a proposal prohibiting the entry of pet dogs into Bengaluru's Cubbon park,

    Pet dogs banned from Bengaluru's Cubbon Park, animal lovers object

    A heated debate has broken out after city authorities proposed a ban on dogs entering Bengaluru's Cubbon Park starting July 1. Animal lovers took to social media to oppose the decision and shared a petition to force city authorities to allow pet dogs into the landmark 'lung' area of the city. The petition already has over 18,500 signatures.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 28, 2022