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Slight improvement in air quality as Delhi-NCR receives light rain
New Delhi, November 15, 2020
Amid the "emergency level" pollution prevailing in the area post Diwali, the National Capital Region (NCR) and its adjoining areas received light rain showers on Sunday evening, bringing slight relief to the residents struggling against the severe PM2.5 and PM 10 pollutant levels.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi improved from 525 in the noon to 490 post the rain.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecast "light to moderate" rain over Delhi-NCR.
It had stated that a fresh western disturbance is likely to increase the wind speed and improve the air quality in the region. The areas likely to receive rainfall included parts of New Delhi, along with Jhajjar, Gurugram, Bahadurgarh, Faridabad, Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad.
"The predominant surface wind is likely to be coming from east/southeast direction of Delhi with wind speed upto 16-30 kmph, generally cloudy sky and light rain/thundershowers accompanied with gusty winds (speed 30-40 kmph) towards afternoon/ evening on 15.11.2020," the central agency said in its weather bulletin.
Earth Science Ministry officials had also forecast in their morning air quality update that the AQI is likely to start improving from the afternoon and settle in the lower end of "very poor" category on Monday. They also said that the AQI may touch the "poor" category in case of enough rains and washout.
Earlier, the ministry had predicted the AQI to remain in the middle-end of the "very poor" category on November 17 and 18. However, only drizzling may trigger secondary particulate formation to only slightly improve the current level to balance the recovery, but it has very less probability, it had said.
On Sunday morning, after the Diwali celebrations, a thick blanket of noxious smog had enveloped the national capital and shot up the pollution in the city to "emergency" level on Sunday where the hourly average concentrations of PM 2.5, a deadly pollutant, touched more than 1000ug/m3 at midnight, the Ministry officials had said.
The satellite towns had also shown emergency and severe level readings of AQI. The situation has followed after the non-compliance of the people to desist from bursting crackers.
As per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall AQI of Delhi in the morning remained 525 while in Noida, it crossed 600 with PM 10 being the lead pollutant. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) measured AQI in Ghaziabad at 473, in Greater Noida at 432, and Gurugram at 425.