A thick layer of fog shrouded areas around Mumbai and Maharashtra yesterday morning, with air quality down to “severe” with poor visibility. Things improved slightly this morning, but the city’s air quality won’t return to normal until at least the evening.
According to the National Air Quality Index daily tally, Mumbai’s AQI today is 286, up from the “satisfactory” AQI of 99 two days ago.
Officials blame the smog in the city for dust storms in the Middle East and other border areas sparked by recent unrest in the west.
According to Dr Gufran Beig, Programme Director and Chief Scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, “Mumbai’s AQI is now in the ‘severe’ category. The same is true for Pune. This is an unusual and unprecedented situation. The AQI has not been in the ‘severe’ category for so many years, and Pune’s air quality rarely falls into the ‘very poor’ category.”
“The day before yesterday, a dust storm with warmer temperatures from the Gulf, Afghanistan and border regions caused an increase in surface winds, which subsequently moved into India, resulting in a drop in the AQI,” he added.
Dr Beig said air quality was expected to improve over the next 24 hours. “It may be back to pre-dust levels until tomorrow night,” he said.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 are considered satisfactory, 101 and 200 are considered moderate, 201 and 300 are considered poor, 301 and 400 are very poor, and 401 and 500 are serious.
Light rain and high winds also contributed to unusually cold weather in the city. Earlier this month, Mumbai experienced its coldest morning of the season, with temperatures dropping to 13.2 degrees Celsius.
The cold weather, caused by a strong western disturbance in northern India, caused Mumbai to drop from January 22, with the Meteorological Department warning a low of around 14 degrees. In January, Mumbai recorded its biggest drop in maximum temperature in a decade, officials from the Indian Meteorological Department said.
Complete News Source : NDTV