New Delhi: Parts of the national capital received rainfall on Sunday evening, bringing much needed respite for Delhiites from the increased air pollution after Diwali. Also Read - Chennai Receives Heaviest Rainfall in a Day in Last 5 Years, Several Areas Waterlogged; IMD Issues Yellow Alert
The temperature recorded at 6 pm in Delhi was 22.6 degrees Celsius. Shallow fog is forecast for the coming week with temperature ranging from 11 to 28 degrees Celsius. Also Read - Monsoon Withdraws From Delhi, City Records 20% Less Rainfall This Year, Says IMD
Higher wind speed aided dispersion of pollutants. The maximum wind speed was around 25 km per hour, IMD officials said.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded 0.4 mm rainfall.
The weather stations at Palam, Lodhi Road, Ridge, Jafarpur, Najafgarh and Pusa recorded 1.8 mm, 0.3 mm, 1.2 mm, 1mm, 1mm and 2.5 mm rainfall respectively.
Fairly widespread rain was recorded in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and few parts of Uttar Pradesh, which should help improve air quality, an IMD official said.
Earlier on Sunday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said air quality is likely to improve in Delhi-NCR from Sunday, as strong winds observed in the afternoon increased chances of rainfall in the evening.
Dr Vijay Kumar Soni, IMD Head of Environment and Research Centre, said that for the coming two-three days, the Air Quality Index (AQI) will remain in the poor category but the situation of air pollution will improve here on.
“Delhi’s AQI is currently in the ‘Severe’ category. More than 500 AQI levels were touched on the night of Diwali, but now due to the Western Disturbance’s influence and strong wind, it is expected that there will be a significant improvement in the air index. The AQI will slowly reverse,” Dr VK Soni said.
The AQI recorded at 4 pm in Delhi was at 435.
“Overall, it can be said that due to the improvement in the AQI level, people will get some relief from air pollution because if it rains today due to the strong winds, the air quality will be a lot better,” he added.
In the morning, people in Delhi woke up to a further spike in air pollution as the city continued to remain engulfed in a blanket of smog post-Diwali with the air quality index in ‘severe’ and ‘very poor quality’ at several places.
The areas around ITO were seen covered in heavy smog and the AQI stood at 461 here, according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data. Very poor visibility was observed in areas around Civil Lines, Geeta Colony and ISBT due to the pollution surge.
The air quality dipped to “severe” at several places across the national capital on Saturday night itself owing to a combination of stubble burning and firecrackers burst during the Diwali celebrations in violation of the ban.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM 2.5 pollutant stood at 481 in Anand Vihar, 444 in IGI Airport area, 457 in ITO, and 414 in Lodhi Road area, all four in the ‘severe’ category, at 11 pm on Saturday, according to the DPCC data.
(With agency inputs)