National Capital to become colder, more polluted

The weather also became icy cold with minimum temperature dropping significantly

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National Capital to become colder, more polluted

Pollution in the national capital improved on Tuesday with the Air Quality Index falling in the poor category. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded an AQI of 237. Prevailing meteorological conditions have been attributed to be the reason behind the improved air quality, from very poor on Sunday to poor starting Monday.

The weather also became icy cold with minimum temperature dropping significantly. The biting cold, coupled with negligible wind speed, will act as a deterrent in dispelling pollutants. Cold weather and high moisture in the air will trap hazardous pollutants in the coming days, hence increasing pollution level.

According to authorities, moderate dry winds blowing over the region from northwest direction have helped clear the air of pollutants to some extent, hence making breathing easy for Delhiites.

The CPCB showed that PM10 settled at 156 which is in the moderate category while PM2.5 was at 92, in the poor category. The city's air quality was severe till Sunday but with an improved wind speed of 20 km/hr, the air quality significantly improved and was recorded in 'poor' category, authorities said.

Meanwhile, the authorities have warned pollution in Delhi-NCR is likely to deteriorate as wind speed will decrease. This will spell AQI plunging from poor to 'very poor' category in the next two days. The Delhi-NCR will again be in the grip of toxic pollution due to the approaching Western Disturbance over the hills, which will change wind direction and its speed.

As many as 26 areas recorded 'poor' air quality and five 'moderate', the CPCB said.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded 'poor' air quality, it said.

The overall PM2.5 level -- fine particulate matters in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometers -- in Delhi was at 115, while the PM10 level was 201, it said.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the overall air quality index over Delhi is 'poor'.

"The Safar-forecast is suggestive of a marginal increase (in pollution) for the next two days but the level will remain in 'poor' to lower side of 'very poor' category," the SAFAR said.

The AQI is expected to increase slowly. The surface wind speed is still high but may decline from Wednesday, the SAFAR said.

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