Air quality improves as winds help clear haze, but remains ‘very poor’

  • | Sunday | 19th November, 2023

Gurgaon: The citys air quality index (AQI) remained in the very poor category for the third consecutive day on Saturday at 322. It improved slightly from 358 on Friday and 363 on Thursday as a thick haze that shrouded the city cleared somewhat due to a rise in wind speed. It was 8kmph on Saturday, up from 6kmph the day before. Any substantial change is unlikely till Tuesday, with the AQI likely to remain very poor or worsen to severe, according to the Centres System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).The highest AQI on Saturday was recorded at the Sector 51 station at 490 (severe), followed by Teri Gram (380) and Vikas Sadan (342), both very poor. The AQI couldnt be recorded at Gwalpahari due to insufficient data.Experts attributed the marginal improvement to favourable meteorological conditions. We have seen a slight improvement in air quality mainly because of the weather system that has developed over the Bay of Bengal, causing a change in wind direction. But the winds are calm during the morning and evening hours, which has prevented effective dispersal of pollutants. There are some chances of rain in the northern states next week and winds are likely to pick up pace, which will bring some relief, said Sachin Panwar, an independent air quality expert. Following the slight improvement in air quality across Delhi-NCR, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has also revoked the restriction imposed under stage-4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The citys minimum temperature on Saturday was 14.5 degrees Celsius, up from 13.4 degrees Celsius a day earlier. The daytime temperature too rose slightly from Fridays 27.1 degrees Celsius to Saturdays 27.4 degrees. According to the IMD, no significant change is expected in the minimum temperature for the next three to four days. For Sunday, the department has forecast clear skies with the minimum and maximum temperatures likely to hover around 14 and 26 degrees Celsius, respectively.Meanwhile, the capitals air quality index (AQI) of 319, was in very poor category as against 405 a day earlier.The air quality is likely to remain in very poor category for the next few days.The drop in AQI from severe to very poor category prompted Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) to withdraw the measures imposed under stage IV (severe plus category) of Graded Response Action Plan.

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