In a concerning development, New Delhi’s air quality took a nosedive, falling into the “very poor” category on Saturday, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 304, compared to 261 just a day earlier. Unfortunately, this air quality is expected to persist in the “very poor” range until Tuesday. The decline in air quality is attributed to several factors, as per officials.
One significant contributor is the prevailing calm wind conditions, which are preventing the dispersion of pollutants. Additionally, the combination of low temperatures and a shallow mixing layer height has led to the accumulation of pollutants in the atmosphere. These factors have created a perfect storm, resulting in worsening air quality conditions in the nation’s capital.
In fact, New Delhi experienced the coldest night of the season on Saturday, with the minimum temperature dropping to 14.3°C. This temperature was notably two degrees below the seasonal average at Safdarjung, which serves as the city’s base weather station. What’s noteworthy is that this marked the first instance this season when the minimum temperature dipped below 15°C at Safdarjung.
However, residents can expect the night temperatures to hover around 16°C for the next two days, providing some respite from the extreme cold. As the city grapples with this challenging combination of cold weather and deteriorating air quality, it becomes increasingly important for authorities and citizens alike to take measures to mitigate air pollution and safeguard public health.