Mercury rises in Delhi, air quality still ‘severe’

The national capital recorded an above normal maximum temperature for the second consecutive day on Thursday after remaining in the grip of a prolonged cold spell, the longest since 1992.

The city recorded a high of 23 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, and a low of 4.6 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded a maximum of 20.5 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal. It was the first time in 23 days that the maximum temperature was above normal in the national capital.

The minimum temperature is also expected to rise to 7 degrees Celsius in the next two days, weather experts said.

However, the pollution levels in the city remained “severe” (AQI 417) on Thursday and weather experts said no major improvement was expected in the air quality unless a fresh western disturbance triggered widespread rains in the region.

“Light rains were expected on Thursday but the clouds eluded the national capital. Another western disturbance is expected to trigger rains in the city anytime between January 6 and 8,” Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, said.

He added that the air quality would fluctuate between the “very poor” and “severe” categories until widespread rains washed away the pollutants.

A dense fog is predicted on Friday and the maximum and minimum temperatures will hover around 22 and 6 degrees Celsius respectively, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.


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