NEW DELHI: The city’s air quality again plunged to ‘very poor’ zone on Monday, after showing minor improvement over the past two days.
The deterioration is mainly due to winds slowing down and a drop in the mercury. Air quality is likely to remain so till December 15, when winds can pick up, said scientists monitoring weather and pollution in government agencies.
Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was 331 in the ‘very poor’ zone on Monday, as compared to 254 in the ‘poor’ zone, the previous day. On Saturday, the AQI was 281. Just two days after remaining ‘poor’, the air quality returned to ‘very poor’, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ early warning system forecast that winds are likely to remain low to moderate on Tuesday as well. “Partially cloudy conditions and moderate mixing layer height (~ 1.0 - 1.5 km) are likely to keep air quality within ‘lower end of very poor’ for the next two days. From December 15 onwards, air quality is likely to improve due to high wind speed, it said.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, winds slowed down slightly on Monday and with minimum temperature dropping low, there is a layer of pollutants in the atmosphere which is not being able to disperse.
Scientists said that Delhi usually sees bad air episodes during the latter half of December, as temperature begins to fall. The national capital recorded its season’s lowest minimum temperature – 6.4 degrees C – on Sunday. IMD officials forecast that the temperature is likely to hover around 6 to 8 degrees C over the next five days.
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