Mumbai: For the second consecutive day, the temperature in the city dipped below 20 degrees Celsius on Saturday, with the minimum temperatures recorded at the Santacruz and Colaba observatories being 18.4 and 21.4 degrees Celsius respectively. Cooler conditions in Mumbai also meant the city’s air quality worsened and entered the poor category on Saturday. IMD officials there are chances of night and day temperature will drop by 2-3 degrees Celsius in next week.
The minimum temperature at Santacruz observatory dropped to 18.4 degrees Celsius (1.4 degree Celsius below normal) on Saturday, the lowest temperature so far this season, while the Colaba observatory recorded a temperature of 21.4 degrees Celsius-- a degree below normal. However, the maximum temperature at both stations was around 35 degrees Celsius. The moisture levels showed a marginal decline from previous days as the suburbs and south Mumbai recorded 78% and 85% humidity on Saturday morning.
In other parts of the state, especially interior Maharashtra along Marathwada and Vidarbha, temperatures were much lower. Parbhani recorded the lowest temperature in the state at 8.8 degrees Celsius followed by Gondia at 10.5 degrees Celsius. Nashik in north Maharashtra recorded 11.1 degrees Celsius while Pune recorded 11.5 degrees Celsius.
“The drop in minimum temperature indicates winter season is very much underway in Maharashtra as the wind pattern (northerly to northeasterly early morning and easterly during the day) is drawing cool and dry winds over the interior and coastal areas of the state. The minimum temperature is likely to remain below the normal mark,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general, western region, India Meteorological Department.
The air quality index of Mumbai entered the poor category for the first time this month. According to the system of air quality weather forecasting and research (SAFAR), it was 225 (poor) for PM2.5 pollutants.
The AQI was 99 (satisfactory) on November 30, worsened to 118 (moderate) by Tuesday and kept increasing to 176 (moderate) by Friday. Bandra Kurla Complex (316) recording a very poor AQI. Colaba (276), Mazgaon (269), Chembur (283), Andheri (218), and Malad (300), all recorded poor air. Worli (73) had the best AQI on Saturday.
Researchers said the drop in temperatures combined with calm winds had allowed a rise in pollution levels. “Due to low ventilation, AQI is likely to remain poor for the next two days,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. The AQI is predicted to be 211 (poor) on Sunday.
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.