Farm fires, calm winds take Delhi’s air quality from bad to worse

Meanwhile, both the minimum and maximum temperatures are starting to dip.

Over the next six days, the maximum temperature is likely to stand at 29 degree Celsius or 30 degree Celsius, while the minimum temperature could stand at around 14 or 15 degree Celsius. (File)

Delhi’s air quality index once again slipped to the ‘poor’ category on Wednesday, and is likely to deteriorate further to the ‘very poor’ category by Thursday.

The AQI on Wednesday was 232 with PM10 being the main pollutant, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) bulletin.

So far this month, the national capital has recorded four ‘poor’ AQI days.

AQI in the 201 to 300 range is considered ‘poor’, while an index between 301 and 400 is categorised as ‘very poor’. AQI in the ‘poor’ range can cause “breathing discomfort to most people on prolonged exposure”, and ‘very poor’ AQI can lead to “respiratory illness on prolonged exposure”, according to the CPCB.

Going by the SAFAR forecasting system, the effective fire count in the northwest of Delhi is 656. The contribution of crop residue burning to PM2.5 levels in Delhi is 16%, the SAFAR forecast said on Wednesday. The wind direction is from the northwest, favouring the transport of pollutants, and local winds are calm making the dispersion of pollutants difficult.

The air quality, therefore, is likely to deteriorate to the ‘very poor’ category on October 28, and further to the “higher end” of the ‘very poor’ category on October 29, the SAFAR forecast said.

Some air quality monitoring stations in the city recorded ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ AQI on Wednesday. The Anand Vihar station logged an AQI of 311, as a 24-hour average on Wednesday evening, while the station at Rohini recorded an AQI of 258, and the Mandir Marg station registered 238 as a 24-hour average.

On Tuesday, Delhi’s AQI had been 139, in the ‘moderate’ category, with PM10 and PM2.5 being the main pollutants.

Meanwhile, both the minimum and maximum temperatures are starting to dip. The minimum temperature is likely to hover between 13 and 15 degrees Celsius over the next six days, and the maximum could range from 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. Clear skies are on the forecast for Delhi for the next seven days.

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