As farm fires continued to rise in Northwest India, Delhi recorded another day of ‘poor’ air quality but the percentage share of stubble burning in PM 2.5 dipped slightly to 17% on Sunday from 22% on Saturday. The AQI value was 256 on Sunday.
According to officials at SAFAR, the slight improvement in air quality over the past two days has been because of strong surface winds which have helped in the dispersal of pollutants.
For the next two days, AQI is expected to remain in the ‘very poor’ category.
“The forecast is for higher wind speed for the next two days, which will lead to better dispersion of pollutants. But because the input levels of pollution are not decreasing, air quality will remain in the higher-end of poor to the lower end of very poor for next two days,” said an official.
The SAFAR model for fire counts around Haryana and Punjab said that between Saturday and Sunday morning, over 1,230 fires were seen.
“Though fire emission has increased and transport-level wind direction is also favourable, an increase in transport level wind speed as well as local Delhi surface winds are likely to maintain the stubble contribution in Delhi PM 2.5 around the same level. The SAFAR model estimate of stubble burning share in PM 2.5 is 17% for today. The percentage contribution shown is relative to the total concentration of PM 2.5 modelled for the day. Hence, on a less polluted day, percentage share may appear higher as compared to highly polluted day but in absolute terms value might be even same or less,” the SAFAR forecast and analysis said.
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