New Delhi: As a dense cloud of smog envelops Delhi, people in the national capital will need to wear face masks not just to prevent coronavirus infection but also to protect themselves from the harmful air pollutants. The air quality index in Delhi on Wednesday turned “severe” as slow wind speed and low temperature caused an accumulation of pollutants. Also Read - Dense Fog Engulfs Delhi-NCR, Severe Cold Wave Sweeps The Region

Delhi’s AQI dropped to “severe” category on Tuesday evening and is likely to remain for a few days. No major improvement is predicted till December 26, said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) at regional forecasting centre. Also Read - Delhi Weather Today: Chilly Winds Bring Cold Conditions, Mercury Drops to 3.6 Degrees Celsius

The overall AQI this morning stood at 404, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR) noted. Meanwhile, the city’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was 418, as opposed to 332 on Monday, 321 on Sunday and 290 on Saturday.

Air pollution in the neighbouring cities of Faridabad (407), Ghaziabad (468), Greater Noida (458) and Noida (450) also entered the “severe” zone.

Srivastava attributed the dip in the air quality to slow wind speed, low temperature, and high humidity due to a Western Disturbance.

The Safdarjung observatory recorded 5.6 degrees Celsius temperature on Wednesday morning which is likely to fall by 1.6 degrees Celsius during next 24 hours. The minimum temperature on Tuesday was 5.3 degrees Celsius with the maximum wind speed of 8 kmph.

At the same time, the IMD forecast today said that the capital’s temperature will dip tp a minimum of 3.7 degrees Celsius in the next 24 hours.