Mumbaikars are likely to wake up to a pleasant morning over the weekend as the city’s minimum temperature is likely to drop by 2-4 degrees Celsius in the next 24 hours and may decrease further in the next 48 hours. IMD attributed it to the cold wave conditions prevailing in north India due to which temperature dropped.
According to the IMD, there was a slight rise in the minimum temperature at Santacruz and Colaba observatories. On Thursday, the minimum temperature at both the observatories increased to 16.2 and 20 degrees Celsius respectively as compared to 15.8 and 19.6 degrees Celsius which was recorded just a day before. However, on the other hand the maximum temperature at Colaba observatory dropped to 30.7 degrees Celsius, while Santancruz observatory recorded 32.3 degrees Celsius as the maximum temperature.
“It is a seasonal phenomenon and temperatures are expected to fall further for the next three days. As a result of snowfall in the northern parts of the country, cool northerly winds have brought down temperatures in Mumbai,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director, IMD. However, the temperatures are likely to remain low for the next couple of days.
The drop in temperature has also affected Mumbai’s air quality. According to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the air quality index (AQI) for all pollutants on Thursday was 266 (poor) with PM2.5 levels in the poor category at 110 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) against the safe limit of 60 µg/m3, and AQI for PM10 at 175 (moderate).
An AQI between zero 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".
Besides Mumbai and its neighbouring areas, the chill was also felt in parts of central Maharashtra and Vidarbha on Thursday.
According to the IMD, the minimum temperature in Pune was 9.9 degrees Celsius, while it was 9.2 degrees Celsius in Nashik and 10.3 degrees Celsius in Jalgaon. Nagpur recorded a minimum temperature of 9.8 degrees Celsius, Akola 10.4 degrees Celsius, and Gondia 8.8 degrees Celsius.
Shweta Singh, a resident of Navy Nagar, Colaba, said the early morning nip in the air was evident and because of this, it has been very pleasant all through the day. “I am enjoying these pleasant temperatures. This sudden dip is quite a relief,” she said.
Doctors have, however, warned, the fluctuating temperatures can lead to seasonal diseases and have asked people to take precautions like ensuring heads and ears are covered to protect themselves from chilly winds.
Civic hospitals’ doctors said change in temperatures over the last few days resulted in a spurt in cases of viral fever, sore throat, cough, body and stomach aches. . “The number of patients complaining of fever, cold, cough and sore throat owing to the change in weather has increased,” added doctors.