AT 118, Mumbai on Friday recorded its worst Air Quality Index (AQI) since March 21. While hazy conditions were recorded in the city since Tuesday, indicating a rise in air pollution levels, officials said, the pollutant-measuring indicator – AQI for PM 2.5 – was recorded at moderate category Friday with a thin layer of smog across the city’s skyline.
The city’s AQI, according to System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), has been under 50 since the lockdown began in March, with isolated days of ‘satisfactory’ AQI after partial relaxation in restrictions. SAFAR has forecast a similar AQI for Saturday.
The city recorded it’s best AQI for this year at 12 on June 30. The AQI has ranged between 17 and 29 in April and May. On September 6, the AQI was recorded at 100, the highest until last month for the period since March 21.
This year’s highest pollution levels were recorded a week before the lockdown was first implemented: on March 17, the AQI was 272 (poor); on March 18 it was at 172 (moderate), and it was at 130 (moderate) on March 19.
An increase in the day temperature and lack of rainfall for a week has contributed to an increase in the AQI levels this month, officials said. For the past week, the city’s AQI was recorded in the range of 70 to 100.
An AQI up to 50 is considered good, 51 to 100 satisfactory, and 101 to 200 as moderate. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe. If the AQI exceeds 500, it is considered a severe-plus category.
on Friday, Andheri recorded the worst air quality in the city with PM 2.5 AQI of 156, followed by Malad at 152 and Chembur (149). Navi recorded AQI at 186. Of the 10 locations where SAFAR records AQI, BKC has been non-functioning for more than a week.
Meanwhile, the weather bureau has forecast a delay of 8-10 days in the withdrawal of monsoon. With the formation of a low-pressure area over north Andaman sea, a thunderstorm is likely at isolated places in Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg over the weekend. Very light to light rain is likely in the city on Saturday, said the weather bureau.
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