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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Delhi air quality may improve to ‘very poor’ as wind speed picks up

Concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 continue to remain high on Sunday morning, though slightly lower than the figures on Saturday.

By: Express News Service | Delhi |
Updated: November 7, 2021 5:31:34 pm
The SAFAR forecasting system had said in an update on Saturday that stronger winds could mean an improvement in AQI to reach the 'very poor' category on Sunday. (PTI)

After having remained in the ‘severe’ category for two consecutive days, the air quality over Delhi is predicted to improve and reach the upper end of the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday, according to the Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi.

Concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 continue to remain high on Sunday morning, though slightly lower than the figures on Saturday. The 24-hour average AQI remained in the ‘severe’ category at several stations on Sunday morning. The Anand Vihar station recorded an average AQI of 453 at 9 a.m., while Jahangirpuri recorded 466, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium registered 443.

At some monitoring stations, calm conditions prevailed for most of Saturday evening and night, but an increase in wind speed on Sunday morning may have helped disperse pollutants. At the Mandir Marg station, PM2.5 levels peaked at around 461 µg/m3 at 7 a.m. on Sunday and fell to around 250 µg/m3 at 9 a.m. This is lower than the 345 µg/m3 recorded at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Wind speed at the station rose from 0.3 m/s to 0.9 m/s at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

The SAFAR forecasting system had said in an update on Saturday that stronger winds could mean an improvement in AQI to reach the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday. But, predominant surface winds on Sunday are coming from the northwest direction of Delhi, making it conducive for the transport of pollutants from stubble burning.

At the Anand Vihar monitoring station, PM2.5 levels hit a high of 507 µg/m3 at 3 a.m. on Sunday and fell to 283 µg/m3 at 9 a.m. There have been no major changes in wind speed at the station since Saturday evening. At Jahangirpuri, PM10 levels have remained between 600 and 700 µg/m3 since 7 p.m. on Saturday, and calm conditions prevailed for most of the evening. At 9 a.m. today, it stood at 697 µg/m3, with an increase in wind speed at around 8 a.m. Though an increase in wind speed had been predicted on Saturday, most stations continued to report calm conditions on Saturday evening.

Partly cloudy skies, with a minimum temperature of 14 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 28 degrees Celsius are on the India Meteorological Department forecast for Sunday.

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