Winds Help Improve Delhi's Air Quality But IMD Predicts Deterioration in AQI Over the Weekend

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The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi is likely to improve on Thursday, October 22, due to the change in the direction of the wind but is expected to worsen by the weekend, predicted the MeT department.

According to data released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality of the national capital fell in the 'poor' category on Thursday morning was the AQI was recorded at 251. However, However, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reportedly warned that the AQI would worsen further on Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24, due to reduced wind speed.

"We are expecting that the AQI will worsen because of a reduction in the wind speed from Friday. The AQI may touch the lower end of the very poor category," Hindustan Times quoted a senior IMD scientist as saying.

The scientists had forecast that due to change in direction of the wind to north-eastly, the impact of stubble burning from neighbouring states like Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh (UP) could lessen. The average wind speed is likely to remain up to 10 kilometres per hour (kmph) on Thursday and may even reduce further over the next three-four days, resulting in slow dispersion of pollutants.

However, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) and the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences’ (MoES) air quality forecasting wing predicted that the AQI in the national capital would worsen over the weekend.

According to the index, an AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

The minimum and maximum temperatures in Delhi would hover around 14 and 35 degrees Celsius, respectively, over the next three-four days, predicted the IMD.