City air remains ‘poor’; likely to deteriorate further

Air quality in the city remained “poor” on Sunday, recording 242 on the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) daily air quality index (AQI) bulletin, down from 256 the previous day in the same category. Experts attributed the slight improvement to strong surface winds blowing from the northwest direction that helped in the dispersion of pollutants.

The level of ultrafine particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), which has a diameter of 2.5 microns or less, the city’s primary pollutant, was 166.0 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) on Sunday, as per the CPCB’s air quality monitor at Vikas Sadan in Sector 11. This was down from 188.55µg/m³ on Saturday.

According to the early air quality warning system for Delhi-NCR, the air quality is likely to deteriorate and remain in “very poor” category on Monday and Tuesday. The air quality is expected to deteriorate further and enter the upper end of “very poor”on Wednesday and Thursday on account of unfavourable meteorological conditions for dispersion of pollutants.

The city’s minimum temperature was recorded four degrees below the normal at 9.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday, same as the previous day. The maximum temperature settled at 23 degrees Celsius — a marginal improvement from Saturday’s 22.8 degrees Celsius.

Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, said that temperature may increase marginally on Monday on account of a western disturbance. As per IMD’s weekly forecast, the maximum temperature will hover around 24 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature is expected to stay at eight degrees. As per the weekly forecast, fog and mist will prevail in the morning hours on Monday followed by clear skies during the day.

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