Air quality in Delhi remained in the ‘poor’ category Sunday as the effects of a dust storm originating in Rajasthan continued to be felt in the city. According to officials at the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), air quality is expected to improve only by Wednesday.
“Delhi and its surrounding areas continue to remain under the influence of a dust storm… The overall air quality of Delhi, which was ‘very poor’ is now in the ‘poor’ category with PM 10 as lead pollutant… We can expect slight improvement till tomorrow morning but air will remain in ‘poor’ category until Tuesday because dust parcels continue to move towards Delhi,” an official forecast from the agency said.
The lack of rain, officials at the India Meteorological Department said, was also contributing to the poor air quality. Delhi, where monsoons rains were delayed by a week, has seen only 13.8 mm of rain since June 1, against a normal of 147.2 mm — a deficit of 91%. Rain helps wash out dust particles but the past week has been mostly dry.
On Sunday, the city did not receive any rain and the maximum temperature was recorded at 37.7 degrees Celsius, three degrees above normal. At 30.2 degrees Celsius, the minimum was also three degrees above normal. Humidity was recorded between 54% and 64%.
According to IMD officials, very light rain is expected on Monday and Tuesday.
“Monsoons in Delhi will continue to be weak, at least for another week. Wednesday and Thursday might see some rain but it will still be much below normal. The weekend will be mostly dry,” an IMD official said.
Monday’s maximum temperature is expected to be 37 degrees Celsius while the minimum is expected to be 29 degrees Celsius.