Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India Gate obscured from view by haze, at Rajpath in New Delhi.(HT file)



Delhi’s air quality remained in the upper end of the very poor zone on Monday. The air quality index (AQI) at 7 am was 394. The average AQI on Sunday was 389. Very dense fog was reported at Palam with zero visibility and moderate fog at Safdarjung at 300 metres at 8.30am on Monday.

The air quality is likely to improve December 7 onwards, government agencies have forecast. On a scale of 0-500, an AQI value between 301-400 is considered very poor while 401-500 is severe.

According to scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), from December 7, air quality may improve significantly when strong north-westerly winds will blow over Delhi.

“The wind speed returned to north-westerly on Sunday afternoon and helped in slight dispersion. However, it is to pick up December 7-10 and air quality may improve considerably. It is likely to remain around 12-15 kmph at that time,” said a senior IMD scientist.

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On Monday, the minimum temperature was12 degrees C, 3 degrees above the normal. A day ago, it was 11.4 degrees C, two notches above normal. The maximum settled at 28.2 degrees C, four notches above normal.

The System for Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the Union ministry’s air quality forecasting wing, said the share of stubble burning to the city’s PM 2.5 levels was negligible. “The air quality is likely to improve December 7 onwards,” the SAFAR bulletin stated.