Thanks to the winds, Delhi NCR saw a drop in the air pollution today, but the relief may have a short life as from tomorrow (Tuesday) the air quality will only get worse.
According to SAFAR, government’s air quality monitoring service, Delhi NCR’s air will remain less polluted until the evening but as the winds will start to slow down, Delhi and neighbouring cities will again be engulfed in the toxic haze and the affect will be visible from Tuesday.
SAFAR is maintained by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.
According to the forecast, as the wind speed will decrease, the AQI (Air Quality Index) will reflect Very Poor (300-400) as opposed to today’s poor category (200-300). Additionally, the air quality will only deteriorate in the subsequent days as the forecast tell us the by 20-21 November, the air quality will hit ‘severe’ (400-500) again.
According to SAFAR, ‘The Air quality is most likely to quickly touch severe levels back again on November 21, as the pollutant accumulation continues to increase’.
During the weekend Delhi NCR’s population saw the Sun shining after few days, however the AQI floated around ‘moderate’ and ‘poor’ levels, even though it was a drop from ‘severe’ category, it is still toxic for people.
Thanks to the rainfall over the Himalayan region which enabled people living in Delhi NCR to breathe in some less toxic air, if this wouldn’t have happened, Delhi would have been covered in thick smog over the weekend continuing till today.
Today, the AQI in Delhi was 215, 256 in Noida, and 209 in Gurgaon (Gurugram) which are still under the ‘poor’ category.
Apart from decrease in wind speed, the change in the direction of the winds will also be a major reason why Delhi NCR will be submerged in the poisonous air once again. As the wind direction changes, the fumes from stubble burning will flow towards North-West region from below.
Stubble burning’s contribution came down to mere 3% in Delhi’s pollution, but from Tuesday it’ll rise to 13%. The Stubble burning is not just restricted to Haryana and Punjab, but farmers from Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh are also burning stubble.