A slight increase in wind speed brought the capital out of severe air quality levels on Wednesday.
On Monday as well as Tuesday, the air quality index in Delhi was recorded in the severe range — at 403 and 413 respectively. On Wednesday, there was a marginal decrease, with the value dropping to 392 and the air quality being recorded in the very poor range.
Delhi also saw a dip in temperature, with snowfall recorded in parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand because of an active western disturbance. Light drizzle was also recorded in Delhi on Tuesday night and Wednesday evening. According to experts, wind speed will pick up again on Thursday afternoon, decreasing the concentration of pollutants in the air.
For the past three days, the primary pollutant in air has been PM 2.5. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) has forecast that the concentration of the pollutant will go down to 218 µg/m3 on Thursday, and then to 198 µg/m3 on Friday, as opposed to the 240 µg/m3 recorded on Wednesday.
According to officials at the India Meteorological Department, the two biggest factors leading to an increase in pollution is the dipping temperature and the high relative humidity.
On Wednesday, humidity was between 62 per cent and 98 per cent. The maximum temperature was recorded at 21.6 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal. The minimum was much higher than that recorded on the previous three days and was recorded at 12.6 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal.
According to IMD officials, the morning temperature is expected to dip in the coming days and Delhi is expected to see fog through the rest of the week.