Delhi grapples with the cold wave, air quality in ‘very poor’ category

New Delhi: As the intense cold wave and foggy weather conditions continued to engulf the national capital, the air quality too showed no signs of improvement, with the index clocking at “very poor” category.

As temperatures dipped in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), the homeless people, who are the worst sufferers in the chilly weather season, continued to turn towards crowded night shelters in different parts of the city to escape the icy cold winds.

However, flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport continue to remain on schedule as the visibility is normal.

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 385 till 8 am, which fall in the ‘very poor’ category. The AQI showed marginal improvement after being in the ‘severe’ category for a couple of days owing to increased wind speed.

The AQI between the range of 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 falls under the category of poor. 300-400 is considered as ‘very poor’ and range between 401-500 falls under the category as ‘hazardous’.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the maximum temperature on Tuesday was recorded at 19.5 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal while the minimum temperature settled at 5 degrees Celsius that was three degrees below normal.

The cold wave is expected to grip the national capital in the next few days, as maximum and minimum temperatures are forecasted at 20 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday respectively.

The IMD said that northerly/northwesterly light to moderate winds is likely to prevail over the northern plains during the next two to three days.

“Northerly/northwesterly light to moderate winds is likely to prevail over northern plains during the next two to three days. Due to remnant moisture over parts of northwest India shallow to moderate fog likely over some parts of northwest India during next 24 hours. Minimum temperatures very likely to fall by two to three Degrees Celsius over many parts of northwest and central India during next two to three days,” the IMD said in a bulletin.

The neurological department added that cold wave conditions are likely to expand over some parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh from December 26 onwards. Cold wave conditions were observed at isolated places over Punjab, north Rajasthan, Haryana, West Uttar Pradesh and East Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.