Mumbai breathes year’s most polluted air as temperatures drop
A clear sky has been predicted for Saturday with day and night temperature expected at 33 and 18 degrees CelsiusUpdated: Feb 03, 2018 00:30 IST
Poor air quality continued to choke the city for a second day in a row as the pollutant measuring indicator — air quality index (AQI) — increased to 263 (poor) on Friday, making it the most polluted day in 2018 and the worst since last Diwali.
On January 15, the city had recorded an AQI of 253 (classified as poor quality), during Christmas it was 258 but a day after Diwali in 2017, Mumbai had recorded 319 (very poor).
AQI levels for PM2.5 pollutant — small pollutant particles that can easily enter the lungs and cause ailments — between 0-50 is good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor, and 400 above is severe.
The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said high pollution levels are expected to continue over the weekend and predicted AQI levels at 239 (poor) for Saturday. “After day temperatures were as high as 36 degrees Celsius earlier this week, the sudden drop in temperatures and calm winds from Thursday onwards allowed pollutant particles to get suspended close to the surface due to the process of inversion. From Monday onwards, air quality is expected to improve,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.
Six of 10 locations where air qualify is monitored recorded ‘very poor’ AQI. While Navi Mumbai had the worst air, with an AQI reading of 324, Mazgaon recorded 313, Andheri and Malad were at 303, Bhandup and Bandra Kurla Complex 302, and Borivli recorded 300 (poor). Chembur had the cleanest air at 77.
Meanwhile, day temperature was a degree Celsius above normal at both Santacruz and Colaba and night temperature was close to the normal mark.