Delhi Breathing ‘Satisfactory’ Air In A While

Delhi Air Quality

After a long spell of ‘poor’ quality air, the national capital Delhi recorded three consecutive days of ‘satisfactory’ air quality with 5th to 7th March this year. Since the start of the year 2020, Delhi has been dealing with a web of ‘poor’ Air Quality Index (AQI), and this year’s ‘satisfactory’ air quality, records the best in March since this time of the year sees a dramatic downfall in air quality. 

Delhi’s air quality improvement comes in at a time when the city received about 30 mm rain between 5th to 6th March. On Sunday the air quality index was 164, which consecutively dropped down to 123 on Monday, 9th March. Both days, the air quality ranged within the ‘moderate’ zone. 

On the 1st of March, the AQI level dropped down to 90 falling under ‘satisfactory’, but the following day it again spiked up. However, on 4th March, another spell of the light shower and thunder brought it down. 

The month of March usually witnesses air quality consistent between ‘moderate’ and ‘satisfactory’ range, due to the wind speed being high. This year a good spell of shower kept the air quality in check, recording 3 days of ‘satisfactory’ air quality within the first 9 days of March since 2016. 

India Meteorological Departement (IMD) revealed the reason for the improvement in the national capital Delhi’s air quality is due to the western disturbances (WD) attributed to the cleaner air that the citizens are breathing at the time. With two western disturbances bringing down the AQI, there is another one yet to hit Delhi on Tuesday night. 

The third one of the western disturbance set to hit Delhi is also destined to bring rainfall and gusty wind on March 12 and 13. Last year in March also the wind speed was good enough, but there was not much rain accompanying it. 

The week is also set to witness air quality between ‘moderate’ to ‘satisfactory’. Additionally, from Monday onward the wind speed started picking up the pace to 20kmph and is likely to stay around 30-35kmph, cleansing most pollutants from the air. The rain also brought down the mercury to 25.2 degrees Celcius during the day, while the night was only 12.4 degrees Celcius, both two notches below normal. 

For the past nine days in a row, Delhi’s air quality has been ranging between ‘moderate’ (AQI value 101-200) or ‘satisfactory’ (AQI value 51-100). According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality index (AQI), ‘satisfactory’ air quality ranges just after ‘good’ air quality, and might only affect sensitive people with slight breathing discomfort.

Sukanya Chakraborty

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