Despite adverse meteorological conditions, a sudden increase in wind speed improved the toxic air quality of the national capital to ‘very poor’ on Friday and as per the Met, it is likely to improve a few more notches over the next few days.
“Despite unfavourable meteorological conditions including a dense fog, the overall air quality in Delhi has improved from ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ category due to an appreciable increase in wind speed (4.1 km/hr).
“It is likely to improve further but will continue to remain in the ‘very poor’ range for the next 2-3 days,” System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said in its daily pollution analysis.
After India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast of light rain between Saturday and Sunday, SAFAR on Friday also said that only sufficient amount of rain could rapidly improve the situation.
As per the IMD forecast, there will be light to very light rains or thunderstorms across the national capital between Saturday evening and Sunday night. “Also, the minimum and maximum temperatures in Delhi will rise and fall by 3-4 degree Celsius, respectively,” the IMD had said.
After January 7, however, the minimum temperature will again fall, bringing dense fog and cold wave conditions with it.
“January 7 onward, the weather will start clearing up and cold winds from North will start blowing over Delhi leading to decrease in minimum temperatures. Due to increase in humidity levels and drop in temperatures, dense to very dense fog will once again make a comeback. Drop in temperatures might bring back cold wave conditions for the isolated pockets of Delhi,” Mahesh Palawat, Director at private weather forecasting agency Skymet told IANS.
Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) at 4 p.m on Friday was recorded at 386 (very poor), against Thursday’s “severe” air quality of 444.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), Faridabad at 380, Gurugram at 337, and Noida at 385 also fared in the ‘very poor’ zone. However, Ghaziabad at 418 and Greater Noida at 408 remained in the ‘severe’ zone.
Across 35 areas in Delhi, where pollution is actively monitored, the average concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 was 241 and 373 microgrammes per cubic meters on Friday at 5 p.m.
The same PM2.5 and PM10 concentration across 48 monitoring stations in the NCR was 230 and 357.