NEW DELHI: Light rain and winds for the second consecutive day helped improve air quality from 'very poor' to 'poor' zone in the city on Thursday, while the IMD predicted more showers in Delhi and satellite towns over the weekend.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 258, as against the previous day's 397. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
According to officials, Safdarjung Observatory received 9.1 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours followed by Palam 7 mm, Lodhi Road 7.4mm, Ayanagar 6.2 mm and Ridge 5.8 mm. "Fairly widespread to widespread light/moderate rainfall likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, north Rajasthan, West Uttar Pradesh during January 7-9," senior IMD scientist RK Jenamani said.
"Most parts of northwest, central and east India are going to receive moderate rainfall with heavy snowfall in the Western Himalayan Region. A fresh Western Disturbance originating from the Bay of Bengal moving eastwards is inducing rain and snow activity," he added.
The IMD scientist said that day temperatures are likely to remain low till January 9 owing to this system.
Incidentally, intermittent showers had on Wednesday brought down maximum temperature to 15.7 degrees Celsius, the lowest so far this season. There was some relief for the people on Thursday as the maximum temperature went up to 21.1 degrees Celsius, which was two notches above the season’s average.
Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of Skymet, a private weather forecaster, said showers will continue over Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of West Rajasthan. "Due to fresh WD, moisture from Arabian Sea and cyclonic circulation over southwest Rajasthan, rain will increase once again from January 7," he said. The minimum (night) temperatures are likely to remain high.
Not easy to breathe
24-hour air quality index (AQI) of Delhi reads 258 at 4 pm on Thursday
The national capita's AQI at 8 am on Thursday was 339, which falls in the "very poor" category
AQIs of its neighbouring cities - Faridabad (219), Noida (252), Gurugram (224) - were also recorded in the "poor" category
AQI in Greater Noida (182) and Ghaziabad (179) was recorded in the "moderate" category
January 9 onwards, the air quality is likely to worsen due to gradual decrease in maximum and minimum temperatures as well as wind speed, all contributing to low dispersion of the pollutants
The national capital witnessed a cloudy morning on Thursday and recorded minimum temperature at 11.7 degrees Celsius, five notches above the season's average
The day's maximum temperature settled at 21.1 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season's average
City received 9 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours between 8.30 am on Wednesday to 8.30 am on Thursday