Mumbai has been sweltering in hot and humid conditions over the last two days, compounded by a thin layer of smog over the city on Saturday, indicating a rise in the pollution level.
At 121, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was worse than Friday’s 118 (moderate), and the worst after the March 21 lockdown and phased reopening since July.
The city’s AQI, according to System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), had been under 50 since the lockdown began in March, with isolated days of ‘satisfactory’ AQI after partial relaxation in restrictions. SAFAR has forecast pollution levels to be in the moderate category for Sunday.
On Saturday, the concentration for PM10 (larger coarser particles) was 116 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³), against the safe limit of 100 µg/m³ for 24 hours.
As the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) station is under maintenance, the AQI was average from nine locations rather than 10. BKC is known to be the most polluted part of the city. The highest pollution level was recorded at Navi Mumbai at 191 (moderate) followed by Andheri at 176 (moderate) and Malad at 149 (moderate).
SAFAR categorises AQI levels for PM2.5 in the 0-50 range as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.
The maximum temperature on Saturday was 34.8 degrees Celsius at the Santacruz weather observatory, 2.1 degrees Celsius above normal, while the Colaba weather observatory recorded 33.7 degrees Celsius, 1.4 degrees Celsius above normal. Santacruz station recorded 0.3mm rain and Colaba 0.2 mm on Saturday evening.
The maximum temperature on Friday was 35 degrees Celsius at the Santacruz weather observatory and 34.6 degrees Celsius at Colaba, both 2.3 degrees Celsius above normal.
Above normal minimum temperature was also recorded on Saturday — 27 degrees Celsius at the Santacruz weather observatory and 27.8 degrees Celsius at Colaba, both over 2 degrees Celsius above normal.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a ‘yellow alert’ for the next five days for Thane and districts in south Konkan. Rain and thundershowers are very likely in the city and suburbs in the next three days.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines