NEW DELHI: The national capital's air quality again plunged to the higher end of the 'very poor' zone, with low surface winds and less sunlight, allowing only little ventilation. The pollution situation in the city is likely to remain similar at least till November 21, after which winds are likely to be strong and help in dispersion of accumulated particulate matter, government agencies said.
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the city's overall air quality index (AQI) was 380, as against 347, the previous day. As per the Union Ministry's System for Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), air quality is likely to improve marginally but will remain within the same category on Saturday as well.
"With the season almost over, the share of farm fires has reduced considerably. From November 21 onwards, surface winds are likely to be strong resulting in effective dispersion that improves air quality. Transport level winds are likely to be strong during November 21-23, flushing out locally emitted pollutants from Delhi to the southeast region that may improve air quality further to the lower end of very poor or poor," it said.
The city has been experiencing 'severe' to higher end of 'very poor' air quality from November 5 (post-Diwali Day), when the AQI soared to 462. Delhi saw season’s highest pollution spike on November 12 with an AQI of 471 and a blanket of smog, which prompted the Supreme Court to step into the matter.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, on Friday, the wind speed was 7-8kmph, which is not favourable for dispersion of pollutants. "The wind direction is southeasterly, which will result in a rise in the minimum temperature, which is likely to hover around 10-11 degrees C over the next few days till the wind direction changes to north-westerly again," said a senior IMD scientist.
On Friday the minimum temperature was 10.9 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season's average. The maximum temperature was 25.9 degrees C, two notches below normal.