January 21, 2016 12:48:20 am
Mumbai on Wednesday recorded the coldest day of the year with the mercury levels dipping to 12.6 degrees Celsius. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a minimum temperature of 12.6 degrees Celsius in Santacruz while the maximum was recorded at 30.4 degrees Celsius. However, Colaba recorded a minimum of 27.7 degrees and a maximum of 18 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature recorded is more than four degrees below normal, making it one of the coldest days recorded in the city this month. In 2013, the minimum temperature recorded was 12.6 degrees while the coldest day in a decade was recorded in 2012 at 10.2 degrees.
Though the current weather is closer to that of a hill station, Mahabaleshwar recorded a minimum of 11 degrees Wednesday. “The dip in temperature is due to the northerly winds blowing over Mumbai. The temperature is not likely to dip further,” said VK Rajeev, director, IMD (west region). The temperature, however, has not considerably improved the pollution levels with the Air Quality Index (AQI) ranging between ‘poor’ and ‘moderate’ in most parts of the city. The AQI, however, has improved and stood at 184 Wednesday under the ‘moderate’ category from what it was in the first two weeks of the month at over 300 and placed in the ‘very poor’ category. This category comes with a health advisory for those with heart or lung diseases, senior citizens and children against heavy exertion in such conditions.
The AQI measured by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) in nine parts of the city was the least polluted in Worli at 71 and Colaba at 90 in the evening, both falling under ‘good’ category. The pollution level was the worst in BKC in the evening at 239, with the suburbs of Malad and Navi Mumbai recording AQI pollution levels at 200. Andheri saw a dip at 193. “Pollution levels get aggravated during winter due to higher concentration of pollutants,” said Rakesh Kumar, scientist and head of Mumbai Zonal Center, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
“With the mixing layer being lowered in winters, there is lesser dilution of pollutant particles. They would only get diluted with strong winds,” he explained.
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