New Delhi woke up to an overcast morning on Saturday, with temperatures settling at 32.2 degrees Celsius, four notches above the season’s average. The air quality has slightly improved since Friday but remains in the “severe” category. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted cloudy skies through the day with a possibility of thundershowers.
“Delhi is expected to see a partly cloudy sky Saturday. Rain and thundershowers, along with a squall, are expected in the evening. The maximum and minimum temperature will be between 40 and 32 degrees Celsius,” a senior official said. A squall is expected on Sunday and Monday.
The improvement in the air quality is because the speed of wind from Rajasthan has reduced. At the same time, local winds have increased, aiding dispersal of pollutants. Despite this, people have been advised to remain indoors this weekend. Civil construction activities remain halted till Sunday.
The maximum temperature is expected to be around 40 degrees Celsius today. The maximum and minimum temperatures on Friday were recorded at 40.5 degrees and 33.4 degrees Celsius respectively.
The pollution level that fell to “severe plus” level is gradually reducing due to dispersion of pollutants, Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute (SAFAR) was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
According to the data by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10 mm) was recorded at 522 in Delhi-NCR and 529 in Delhi for Saturday.
The PM10 level had risen to 778 in Delhi-NCR area and 824 in Delhi on Wednesday, bringing to light that severe pollution could be a ‘summer-time problem’ too.
The PM2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) that deteriorated from “very poor” to “severe” has now returned to “very poor” category. It was 124 in Delhi-NCR and Delhi on Saturday, the CPCB data said.
Owing to the concerning pollution levels, the civil construction activities remain halted in the city till Sunday.
PM 10 levels were above 500 this morning and PM2.5 were at 169 (moderate) in Delhi’s Lodhi Road area.
The southwest monsoon, which was to cover the entire west and central regions by June 15, is likely to remain subdued for another week. The monsoon arrived in Kerala three days ahead of schedule on May 29 but has weakened since. It has remained stagnant along Thane, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Amravati, Gondia, Titlagarh, Cuttak, Midnapore and Bagdogra since June 11.
(With inputs from PTI)