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Friday, May 07, 2021

Strong winds spark dust storm in national capital, air quality worsens

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius on Friday, lower than 40.5 degrees Celsius the day before, the highest mark the mercury has reached so far this season.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 16, 2021 7:35:19 pm
Dust stormDust storm in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Strong winds of about 65 kmph were recorded in Delhi on Friday, causing a dust storm in parts of the city, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Light drizzle and rain was also recorded in some areas of the city late afternoon around 4 pm, which the IMD officials credited to a passing Western Disturbance.

Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s regional weather forecast centre in Delhi, said the Western Disturbance would move towards Uttar Pradesh by late Friday evening.

“Trace levels of rain were recorded in some parts of the city late Friday afternoon. A dust storm was also recorded in Palam and nearby areas, which was due to strong, dust-raising winds. Overall, the rainfall would be in the light category on Friday. By Saturday, the Western Disturbance would move ahead after which we may not see any rainfall in Delhi,” Srivastava said.

Light rain in Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius on Friday, lower than 40.5 degrees Celsius the day before, the highest mark the mercury has reached so far this season.

The minimum or night time temperature recorded in the early morning hours was 20.2 degrees Celsius, which was two degrees below normal for this time of the year, as per the IMD.

Delhi’s day-time temperature has increased significantly in about a week’s time. On April 9, the maximum temperature was 35.2 degrees Celsius.

The IMD has forecast that the mercury would fall to about 36 degrees Celsius on Saturday before it rises again. There is also a possibility of very light rain or drizzle on Saturday, as per the IMD.

Meanwhile, the city’s air quality index (AQI) deteriorated within the poor category on Friday, rising to 243 at 5 pm from 233 at around 10 am, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The 24-hour average AQI on Friday was 238 in the poor category, higher than 220 a day earlier, as per CPCB data.

A bulletin from the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor SAFAR said, “PM 10 (dust) remains the prominent lead pollutant. High dust emission is likely at isolated places on Friday due to gusty winds and thunderstorms. AQI is forecast to stay in the poor category on Friday. It is likely that rainfall will improve AQI from poor to moderate category over the next two days.”

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