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Opinion

Rainfall Increases Temperature, Delhi Air Quality Improves

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Two days in a row of rains in Delhi raised the temperature on Monday, easing the biting cold in the city in recent weeks, and lowering pollution levels, giving residents the cleanest air in 38 days.

The minimum temperature housed Monday at the Safdarjung Observatory, which is considered representative of Delhi, was 11.4 degrees Celsius, four levels above normal and the highest in the last 22 days, according to the Indian Meteorological Department. (IM D). The maximum temperature was 22.6 degrees Celsius, three levels above normal.

Weather scientists said the cloud cover in the city helped raise the temperature as the clouds trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation and radiate it downward, heating the ground. Inclement weather in the city is likely to persist through Wednesday, with moderate rainfall and thunderstorms also Tuesday, IMD scientists said.

“There was a hail storm in neighboring areas of Delhi according to our radar images. Similar weather will continue on Tuesday, ”said Kuldeep Shrivastava, head of the regional weather forecast system.

On Monday, Delhi posted an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 151, placing it in the “moderate” category, a substantial improvement compared to the past three days. On January 1, Delhi’s AQI was at 441, placing it in the “severe” zone; while on January 2 it was 443, also in the “severe” category; and 354 on January 3 in the “very poor” category.

Read more | 40mm rain in 36 hours slows Delhi down, more likely today: IMD

This was the first time since December 14, 2020, that the air in the city was in the “moderate” category (AQI of 160) and the cleanest air Delhi has breathed since November 27, when the AQI touched 137.

Heavy fog engulfed the city in the morning, and visibility dropped to about 50 meters in Safdarjung.

However, officials at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport said the morning fog had no impact on flight operations on Monday. Up to 14 flights scheduled to depart Delhi to Srinagar were canceled due to bad weather conditions in Srinagar, while four flights scheduled to arrive in Delhi from Srinagar had to be canceled as the flights were unable to take off from Srinagar, the official added.

Experts said rain and strong winds through Monday played a crucial role in reducing pollution.

“The contamination has disappeared after the heavy rains on Sunday. Today’s strong winds that blow between 15 and 20 km / h have not allowed the accumulation of pollutants. We expect air quality to remain in the ‘moderate’ to ‘poor’ category until January 9. This is because the wind speed is likely to remain moderate, which will help to continuously disperse pollutants, ”said VK Soni, a scientist in IMD’s air quality division.

Several parts of northern India witnessed light to moderate rains due to a western disturbance and above-normal temperatures on Monday, the IMD said. Several parts of northwestern India continue to receive heavy and widespread rains with thunderstorms and lightning. Hailstorms are likely in many places Tuesday, IMD said.

“There is a western disturbance like a cyclonic circulation over central Pakistan. There is a lot of moisture incursion due to the southeast winds and a confluence or interaction of the southwest and southeast winds is causing extreme weather. There is also an induced cyclonic circulation over Rajasthan. Our radar images show heavy rain and thunderstorms over Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, eastern Rajasthan, and Haryana. Hail may have also occurred. A similar climate will persist tomorrow (Tuesday), but the spatial distribution and intensity may be reduced from Wednesday, ”said K Sathi Devi, director of the national weather forecast center.

“The next western disturbance, which will likely approach the region around January 7, will not bring much rain to the plains because it is a weak system. Its impact will be limited to the hills, ”said Shrivastava.

An active western disturbance is found as a mid and upper level cyclonic circulation over central Pakistan with its induced cyclonic circulation over southwestern Rajasthan and its environs. There continues to be a north-south zone of confluence of winds from the north of Punjab to the north-eastern Arabian Sea, with a strong interaction between the south-west winds and the humid lower-level south-east winds. All of these favorable weather features for rain are likely to persist for the next three days, according to Monday’s IMD bulletin.

Hail storms are likely to occur in isolated locations over Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi on January 4-5 and over western Uttar Pradesh on January 5. from January. Heavy rain or snowfall. also probably over Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad on January 4 and 5; over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on January 5 and isolated heavy rains over northern parts of Punjab on January 4 and 5.

A new western disturbance is likely to affect the western Himalayan region from January 7. As a result, no significant changes in minimum temperatures are likely over the next 2-3 days in northwestern India, according to the bulletin.

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