The capital’s air quality dipped to the ‘severe’ category on Wednesday, after an extended spell of low temperatures and stagnant winds impeded the dispersal of pollutants.
The air quality index (AQI) on Wednesday was 408, up from 369 on Tuesday. The suburbs of Ghaziabad (441), Noida (426), Greater Noida (449), Faridabad (390) and Gurgaon (370) also breathed extremely polluted air.
Weather department officials said the city recorded a low of 7.9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, a notch below normal, and a high of 23.2 degrees Celsius. On Tuesday, the mercury had dipped to the season’s lowest at 7.4 degrees Celsius.
According to IMD officials, relief is expected on Thursday, as a cyclonic circulation is expected to bring light rain and increase the wind speed — from 6-8 kilometres per hour currently to 20-30 kmph.
Air quality has taken a turn for the worse after almost a month. In the beginning of November, the city saw an extended spell of bad air quality, due to the combined effect of crop stubble burning, low wind speed and dipping temperatures.
Rain is also expected Friday, which is expected to bring the AQI to the ‘poor’ category. The city is expected to see its first spell of dense fog over the weekend, as morning temperatures are expected to dip to 6 degrees Celsius.