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Delhi: Air Quality Improves Marginally But Smog Persists

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New Delhi [India]: There was a slight improvement in the air quality in the national capital on Thursday, with the overall air quality index (AQI) in the ‘very poor’ category at 312.

The improvement was slight but significant as the AQI was in the ‘severe’ category on Wednesday, at 421.

Amid the foul air, residents in the national capital woke up to a typically cold and smoggy morning.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the AQI in the Lodhi Road area was recorded at 410 on Wednesday morning, while Mathura Road logged an AQI of 488. The AQI at Pusa Road was also in the ‘severe’ category at 425 while in the Delhi University area, it was 410.

The AQI around Delhi airport was also in the severe range, at 434, on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, the Safdarjung base station in the national capital recorded a minimum temperature of 5.9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday morning.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the visibility in the Palam area was recorded at 100 metres.

Further, according to the IMD, Delhi experienced the third worst cold spell in the last 23 years. It warned of a fresh burst of icy chill in the national capital from January 14.

RK Jenamani, a weather scientist at IMD, said, “For a cold spell, the number of such days experienced should be in the range of 5 to 6 days. A similar situation was experienced in 2006 when the lowest temperature was recorded at 1.9 degrees Celsius. In 2013, there was a similar cold spell.”

The IMD has predicted rainfall and snowfall on January 12, and a fresh cold spell from January 14.

Jenamani said Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Western UP and North Rajasthan are likely to experience drizzles and light rainfall over the next few days.

“In Himalayan states, including Jammu and Kashmir, and especially in Kashmir, there might be heavy rainfall or snowfall on January 12. There could also be rains or snowfall in Himachal and Uttarakhand between January 11 and 14,” he added.

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