26 Dec 2020: Air quality to deteriorate further in northwest India, including Delhi-NCR
On Saturday, poor and very poor air quality levels were recorded in most towns and cities in northwestern India.
Delhi reported a "very poor" air quality index (AQI) of 324, while "poor" air quality was recorded in NCR cities like Gurugram, Faridabad, and Noida.
Moreover, the AQI may worsen in northwestern areas from December 27 due to a change in wind speed.
Details: Dip in minimum temperatures toward year end
The further deterioration in the air quality levels in northwestern parts of the country is likely to be caused by a change in the wind speed under the influence of an approaching western disturbance.
Also, the western disturbance of moderate intensity is expected to lead to a dip in the minimum temperatures in the region toward the end of the year.
Statement: 'Winds slow down, resulting in accumulation of pollutants': IMD Scientist
"The wind speed increased to 10 to 15 kmph on Friday which helped improve the air quality...we are expecting AQI to deteriorate again on December 27 and 28 to...the very poor or severe category," stated VK Soni, Scientist at Air Quality Management Division of India Meteorological Department (IMD).
"When a western disturbance approaches, winds slow down, resulting in an accumulation of pollutants," he added.
Minimum temperatures: Gradual rise in minimum temperatures followed dip in temperatures
While minimum temperatures are expected to fall in the region at the end of this year, a gradual increase of 2-3 degrees Celsius in the minimum temperatures in northwest India between December 25 and 27 has also been predicted.
This gradual rise will be followed by a drop of 3-5 degrees Celsius in minimum temperatures between December 28 and 30.
Statement: Winter at its peak during December-end, January beginning: Scientist
"Winter is at its peak during December end and January beginning. But because of the influence of a western disturbance, it can be harsher," stated RK Jenamani, a Senior Scientist at the National Weather Forecasting Center of the IMD.
"Both October and November have been colder than usual this year, but December has been mild so far," the scientist added.
Impact: Western disturbance's impact on the Western Himalayan region
The approaching western disturbance is also likely to have an impact on the Western Himalayan region and also lead to cause widespread snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan, and Muzaffarabad.
On the other hand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are expected to witness scattered snowfall, while isolated rain or thundershowers are predicted for adjoining plains of northwestern India between December 27 and 28.
Fact: Here's what IMD said in Friday bulletin
"After the passage of the system (western disturbance) and under the influence of the consequent strengthening of cold and dry north-westerly or northerly lower-level winds, cold wave conditions will set in again (in northwestern India)," stated the IMD in its Friday bulletin.
Forecast: Cold wave to severe cold wave conditions predicted
Isolated parts of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi are likely to experience cold wave to severe cold wave conditions during December 28-29. Meanwhile, cold wave conditions are forecasted for isolated pockets in Uttar Pradesh, north Rajasthan, and north Madhya Pradesh.
Also, ground frost conditions are reportedly expected in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and north Rajasthan during the same period.
Also see: Cold wave sweeps Delhi at 3.4 degree Celsius
Delhi's air quality worsens to 'severe'; thick smog envelops capital
Kanpur's temperature hits zero degrees; Delhi will get slight relief
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