NEW DELHI: The air quality in Delhi-NCR improved to "satisfactory" levels on Friday, for the first time in around two months, as a result of rains and favourable wind speed over the last two to three days.
However, it is predicted to dip slightly on Saturday due to a change in wind direction and drop in wind speed. The overall air quality index in the city read 84 at 4 pm -- the best reading since October 5, when it was 98.
Most of the 37 air quality monitoring stations in Delhi recorded the AQI in the "satisfactory" category.
Alipur registered the best AQI of 56. Neighbouring Ghazibad (84), Gurgaon (84), Faridabad (70), Noida (83) and Greater Noida (90) also breathed comparatively cleaner air.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'.
An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category. Weather experts said slow wind speed (6-8 kilometers per hour) would lead to a dip in the air quality on Saturday but no drastic deterioration is expected.
The wind direction is northwesterly but the share of farm fires in Delhi's pollution will only be around six per cent on Friday as stubble burning has almost come to an end, they said.
The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said, "AQI is likely to slip to the poor category on Saturday."