Mercury dips in Delhi, air still 'very poor'

File photo of a cold winter morning in Delhi. Photo: Qamar Sibtain/IANS

Mercury dips in Delhi, air still 'very poor'

New Delhi, December 20, 2021

As the ongoing winter chill in north India intensified further, the temperature in the national capital plummeted to 5.4 degrees Celsius on Monday morning, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Air pollution levels in Delhi also remained a cause of some concern, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) at 222 for PM10 and 183 for PM2.5. As the PM10 exceeded 100, the IMD has issued a "moderate" health advisory which means that sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion and heavy outdoor work.

The PM2.5 level was also under the 'very poor' category.

Usually, the air quality is categorised as 'good' when the AQI is between 0 to 50; 'satisfactory' between 51-100; 'moderate' between 101-200; 'poor' between 201-300; 'very poor' between 301-400; 'severe' between 401-500; and 'hazardous' at over 500.

As the day progresses, the weather agency has predicted a mainly clear sky in the afternoon with the maximum temperature likely to hover around 19 degrees Celsius and the minimum may further drop to 3 degrees.

According to the morning update, a temperature of 5.4 degrees Celsius was recorded at 8.30 a.m. with a relative humidity of 91 per cent. Cold wind was blowing in the northwest direction at a speed of 5.4 km per hour.

The city observed sunrise at 7.10 a.m. and the Sun is likely to set at 5.29 p.m.

In the past 24 hours, the maximum temperature was recorded at 19.2 degrees Celsius, three notches below the normal, and the minimum was 3.2 degrees.

Delhi, generally, has good to satisfactory air quality. However, the pollution levels during October to February, due to various factors including stubble burning, road dust, vehicle pollution, and cold weather, lead to a deterioration in the AQI.


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