City’s air quality index continues to worsen, crosses 300-mark

As Mumbai bid adieu to the year 2020 and welcomed the New Year, the maximum and minimum temperatures in the city rose slightly on Thursday and Friday. From 15 degrees celsius three days ago the minimum temperature rose to 20.6 degree celsius in Santacruz and 21 degree celsius in Colaba. Meanwhile, the air quality in and around Mumbai deteriorated from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ on Thursday and on Friday for the first time in 2020. Experts attributed the very poor quality of air to the inflow of air from the land (continental air) instead of that from the sea.

The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) has been under 50 since March. The best AQI for this year was at 12 on June 30. On October 9, it rose to 118.

An overall air quality index (AQI) of Mumbai —a pollutant measuring indicator – of 307 (very poor) was recorded on both Thursday and Friday. The AQI was calculated by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) as the average of indices recorded at 10 locations in the city and suburbs.

SAFAR categorises AQI levels for PM2.5 in the 0-50 range as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.

Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) remained the worst with an AQI (363) among all the 10 locations, followed by Navi Mumbai with an AQI of 349, Mazgaon with AQI of 342, Malad with an AQI 321 and Chembur with an AQI of 312.

“The rise in temperatures is mostly due to the southeast winds over northwest and central India,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general of western region, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The Colaba weather station of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which represents south Mumbai, recorded a maximum temperature of 32 degrees Celsius, which was 1.3 degrees above normal. The minimum temperature rose to 21 degrees Celsius, which was 0.3 degrees celsius above normal and 3 degrees above the lowest temperature of the season recorded on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Santacruz station, which represents suburban Mumbai, recorded a maximum temperature of 34 degrees celsius, which was 2.7 degrees above normal. Minimum temperatures also rose significantly on Thursday, with the mercury touching 18.5 degrees celsius, a 1.1-degree rise above normal and 20.6 degrees celsius on Friday. This was 3.5 degrees above the lowest minimum temperature of the season (15 degrees Celsius) recorded on Tuesday. In 2020, the lowest recorded temperature was 15 degrees on Tuesday, while in 2019 and 2018, it was 15 degree celsius and 14.4 degrees Celsius.

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