Although the air quality remained in the 'very poor' zone, Delhi experienced its most improved air in seven days on Tuesday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 320. However, the authorities have forecast a gradual deterioration in the air quality due to the cold weather.
"Overall air quality is now in the middle of the very poor range. However, it will gradually move to the upper level of the 'very poor' category as the deficit benefit due to rainfall washout is levelled off," System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research said.
Since the beginning of the year, the air quality in Delhi and adjoining areas have been oscillating between 'severe' and 'very poor' zone.
The AQI in Delhi dropped to the 'severe' zone thrice in the first seven days of 2019. The rest of the days were recorded in the upper level of the 'very poor' zone.
On Tuesday, however, the air quality improved to 320 - against the last three days' 333, 336 and 407 AQI - due to weekend rainfall and moderate wind speed.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), Faridabad at 302, Ghaziabad at 318, and Greater Noida at 338 also fared in the "very poor" zone. However, Gurugram at 282 and Noida at 292 improved to "poor" air quality after the weekend rainfall.
Across 35 areas in Delhi, where pollution is actively monitored, the average concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 was 150 and 249 microgrammes per cubic meters, respectively, on Tuesday.
The concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 across 48 monitoring stations in the NCR stood at 150 and 243, respectively.
In terms of weather, the Met has forecast a marginal drop in the minimum temperature in Delhi over the next 48 hours.
"During the next 24 to 48 hours, due to the cold winds from the north, we expect a marginal drop in both day and night temperatures," Mahesh Palawat, Director at private weather forecasting agency Skymet told IANS.
Thereafter, he said, due to the fresh Western Disturbance approaching the Western Himalayas around January 10, winds will once again change direction. "Thus, minimum temperatures will see a rise by 2-3 degree Celsius between January 11 and 12," he said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also forecast light rain or thunderstorm over the weekend.
"There will be generally cloudy sky with the possibility of light rain or thunderstorm towards the night during January 12 and 13," an IMD official said.
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