Skies to be clear, but air quality may remain poorUpdated: Jan 03, 2020 00:22 IST
As night temperatures dropped in Mumbai, air quality worsened for the third consecutive day. The air quality index (AQI) dropped to 237 (poor) on Thursday as compared to 175 (moderate) on Wednesday morning, and 204 (poor) in the evening for particulate matter (PM) 2.5 pollutants, according to System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). Air quality is expected to be worse on Friday as SAFAR has predicted AQI of 246 (poor).
On Thursday, seven of 10 locations where AQI is measured, recorded high air pollution with ‘very poor’ air quality at Bandra-Kurla Complex (303), Malad (301), and Borivli (301). Andheri, Chembur, Worli and Mazgaon recorded ‘poor’ air quality. Bhandup (130, moderate) recorded the cleanest air in the city. “Between Wednesday evening and Thursday, wind speed dropped over Mumbai and surrounding areas,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “If wind speed does not pick up, the city can expect ‘poor’ air quality to continue.”
Concentration of PM2.5 was 106 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3) on Thursday, against the safe limit of 60 µg/m3. Concentration for PM10 was more than double the safe limit (100 µg/m3) at 196 µg/m3.
Meanwhile, the suburbs recorded a minimum temperature of 16.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday, a degree below normal, while south Mumbai recorded 18.5 degrees Celsius, which was close to normal. Humidity levels were 90% in the suburbs and 87% in south Mumbai. The suburbs recorded the day temperature at 28.9 degrees Celsius, 2.1 degrees below normal, while south Mumbai recorded 29 degrees Celsius, 1.5 degrees below normal.
A clear sky has been predicted for Friday with day and night temperatures expected at 28 and 14 degrees Celsius. “Early morning chill will continue in the region as minimum temperatures are expected to remain around 16 degrees,” said Akshay Deoras, meteorologist and PhD researcher, University of Reading, UK.
Cold spell, thunder-hailstorm in Vidarbha
Several districts of Vidarbha and east Marathwada have been witnessing cloud cover along with intense thunderstorms since December 31. Places in Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, and Washim districts witnessed hailstorms on Thursday morning. Maximum temperatures in the region have been continuously below the average due to cloud cover. “There is an upper-air trough (an elongated low-pressure) at upper levels of the atmosphere (at altitudes where aircraft fly) over Vidarbha. This has triggered instability in the atmosphere – a condition suitable for the formation of thunderstorms. The weather in Vidarbha will start stabilising from Friday leading to clear sky conditions and drop in minimum temperatures at least till early next week,” said Deoras.