With the minimum temperature dipping to 13.8 degrees Celsius, the city experienced the coldest day of the season Sunday. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Santacruz observatory recorded a minimum temperature of 13.8 degrees Celsuis, while Colaba recorded 17.5 degrees.
The last coldest day of the season was recorded on January 2 when the mercury dipped to a minimum of 14.1 degrees. In 2017, the lowest minimum temperature was 11.9 degrees — recorded on January 12. The coldest winter day recorded by the IMD in Mumbai was on January 22, 1962, when it was 7.4 degrees cold.
“The cold weather is because of the northerly winds blowing in from the northern parts of the country,” said Ajay Kumar, an IMD scientist.
According to the IMD’s forecast for the coming week, the temperatures are expected to rise one degree every day, touching 20 degrees by Friday.
“We are not expecting a large change in the coming three days — not more than a degree. After that it will slowly increase again. We are not expecting a further dip in the temperatures and this is the coldest it might get,” he added.
The air quality in the city also considerably improved Sunday with the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) measuring an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of 136, which falls in the moderate category. The city has experienced poor air quality for most of the winter so far. On January 3, the AQI soared to 238.
“As the winter recedes and more sunny days come, the air quality will slowly improve. The wind speed is improving so the high pollution days will soon be over. Generally, if there is a combination of low temperature and low wind speed, the pollution levels increase. But thankfully today while the temperature has reduced the wind speed is good so the pollution levels have reduced,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.
Among the 10 stations in the city, only Borivali recorded poor air quality in the city with PM2.5 levels soaring to 227. The Malad observatory recorded ‘satisfactory’ air quality with PM2.5 at 90. At 50, Chembur marked ‘good’ air quality.