More severe AQI days in 2019 at 20 against only 11 in 2018

New Delhi


Delhi's air quality index (AQI) will likely end 2019 on a bad note with a "severe" category of air quality even as the year saw a much higher number of severe quality days -- at 20 -- compared to only 11 in 2018.

However, the "very poor" quality days were lower at 63 in 2019 compared to a much higher number of 90 last year. The "poor" quality days were 47 in 2019 as compared to 52 in 2018, and the "moderate" days were 95 compared to 87 in 2018.

The "satisfactory" days were 98 this year compared to 94 last year and the "good" air days were higher this year at 42 compared to 31 last year.

Delhi's AQI has deteriorated sharply to the highest category of "severe", signalling an air pollution emergency with an overall count of 433 on Monday evening.

The main pollutants are also in dangerous category with PM 10 at 469 and PM 2.5 at 281, both in the highest category of "severe".

Under the influence of approaching western disturbance, surface winds are likely to pick up and the improved ventilation is likely to influence AQI positively.

According to Safar India, AQI is forecast to improve to the higher end of the "poor" category by Tuesday. Significant improvement in AQI towards the middle-end of "very poor" is expected by the New Year's Day, January 1. Tuesday's top three air pollution hot spots of Delhi are likely to be Vinobapuri, Okhla and Badarpur.

However, the intense pollution hot spot region is seen on New Year's Eve. The "Cool Island" effect (land-use induced local effect) in conjunction with some high emission regions, will make some pockets as intense pollution hot spots within Delhi.

Under the influence of approaching western disturbance, isolated rainfall is likely over Delhi by January 2 and likely to improve AQI further by the weekend.IANS