NEW DELHI: Air quality in the national capital continued to remain in the ‘severe’ zone for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, as winds remained calm, allowing little or no ventilation. The pollution situation is likely to persist over the next few days with an improvement likely only by December 26-27 with a forecast of rain, said weather officials.
Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) on Wednesday was 407 in the severe zone. On Tuesday, it was 402. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, winds are calm, as a Western Disturbance (WD) is affecting the Western Himalayan Region, which is having its impact on the northern plains as well. “Whenever there is a WD, winds slow down, which does not allow dispersion of pollutants.
Also, the continuing cold conditions have added to the further accumulation of pollutants. But, owing to WD, minimum temperatures that are below normal, will rise from December 23,” said a senior IMD official. On Wednesday, the Lodhi Road weather station recorded the minimum temperature of 4.2 degrees C — the lowest minimum temperature in Delhi. The Safdarjung Observatory, the base station of Delhi, however, recorded the minimum temperature of 4.4 degrees C, three notches below normal.
Ashim Mitra, a senior IMD scientist, said: “Cold wave abated from most parts of northwest plains, except for isolated pockets over Punjab, West Uttar Pradesh and East Rajasthan. Wet spells over the plains of northwest region is likely during December 26-29.”
Mahesh Palawat, VP, Skymet, a private weather forecaster, said that easterly winds were blowing over Delhi, which carried moisture and were usually slower than northwesterly winds. “The winds are calm, not allowing ventilation and moisture-laden easterly winds are allowing further trapping of pollutants. Three successive WDs are affecting J&K on December 22, 24 and 26, resulting in change of weather in northern plains. It is likely to induce good showers from December 26-29, which may result in a clean-up of pollutants,” said Palawat. Night temperatures will rise to 7-8 degrees C over this week, he added.
Cold comfort after Dec 23
Owing to Western Disturbance, minimum temperatures that are below normal, will rise from December 23
Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) on Wednesday was 407 in the ‘severe zone’
Night temperatures will rise to 7-8 degrees C over this week
On Wednesday, Safdarjung Observatory, the base station of Delhi, recorded the minimum temperature of 4.4 degrees C, three notches below normal