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Delhi’s ‘very poor’ air quality worsens further, likely to continue till Tuesday

Written by  Published in Delhi-NCR Monday, 19 February 2018 07:20

The Air Quality Index (AQI), which stood at 311 at 4pm on Sunday, shot up to 322 around 10am on Monday. The levels of particulate matter – the primary pollutants in Delhi’s air – are gradually rising.

Residents of Delhi woke up to a misty morning on Monday as the air quality, which breached the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday after remaining in the ‘poor’ zone for three days, worsened further on Monday morning, officials said.

The Air Quality Index (AQI), which stood at 311 at 4pm on Sunday, shot up to 322 around 10am on Monday. The levels of particulate matter – the primary pollutants in Delhi’s air – are gradually rising.

On a scale of 0-500, an AQI value between 0 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’.

While the level of PM10 shot up from 297ug/m3 at 4pm on Sunday to 304ug/m3 at 10 am on Monday, the more harmful PM2.5 also shot up from 155ug/m3 to 165ug/m3 during the same period. The safe levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are 100ug/m3 and 60ug/m3.

“The high moisture level in the air is causing the problem. The air has become heavy and its holding capacity has increased. Pollutants from local emissions are getting trapped which is pushing up pollution levels,” said a senior official from the Central Pollution Control Board.

Government agencies have forecast that pollution levels would continue to remain in the very poor zone at least till Tuesday.

Incidents of crop burning in northwest India have increased over the past 24 hours, but as the wind is coming mainly from the southeasterly direction, the toxic fumes from Punjab and Haryana are not entering Delhi.

The sky is expected to remain cloudy because of a western disturbance and a cyclonic circulation over the region. There are, however, no chances of rain.

The high moisture level also triggered some mist in the morning. The visibility around 8:30 am in Delhi was 1200m. If the visibility drops below 1000m, it is called a fog.

“With clouds in the sky, the night temperature shot up to 15.3 degrees Celsius, which is three degrees above normal,” said an official from the local meteorological department.

The minimum temperature on Monday was recorded at 15.3 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season’s average, the weather office said.

Sunday’s maximum temperature settled at 29 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 11 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s average.

The humidity at 8.30 am was 72% and the weather office predicted that the maximum temperature will hover around 27 degrees Celsius for the day. Source : ht

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Read 1092 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 November 2018 06:37

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