Updated: October 17, 2020 6:45:36 am
After weeks of hazy conditions and thin smog layer across the city skyline followed by two days of rain, Mumbai on Friday woke up to a clear blue sky, indicating a significant drop in the pollution level. The pollution measuring indicator, Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM 2.5, was recorded at 42, that is ‘good’ category on the day.
The city’s AQI had worsened to 121, the highest since March 21, when the coronavirus-induced lockdown began. Since then, it has remained under 50, with isolated days of ‘satisfactory’ AQI after partial relaxation in restrictions, according to System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
SAFAR has forecast pollution levels to remain in the ‘good’ category over the weekend. AQI levels for PM2.5 in the 0-50 range is categorised as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.
On Friday, the concentration for PM10 (larger coarser particles) was 44 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³).
Meanwhile, after heavy rainfall across the state, no extreme weather events have been predicted for the next five days. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a forecast of “light rain” across the state for the next five days.
Moderate intensity rain was recorded on Thursday and Friday in Mumbai. In 24 hours, ending at 8.30 am on Friday, IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded 21.2 mm rainfall, while Colaba observatory recorded 35.2 mm rain.
“Yesterday’s well-marked low-pressure area over south Madhya Maharashtra and adjoining Konkan region re-emerged into the Arabian Sea, early this morning. It is very likely to move further west- north-westwards and turn to depression in the Arabian Sea off north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts in the next 24 hours,” said K S Hosalikar, deputy director-general, western region, IMD.
With the formation of a fresh low-pressure area over central the Bay of Bengal around October 19, the withdrawal of the southwest monsoon from the state is likely to be delayed further by another week. Earlier, the normal date for withdrawal of monsoon from Mumbai was October 8. Last year, monsoon withdrawal was delayed by 39 days.
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