Experts said the pollution levels will dip slightly from “very poor” to “poor” in the next 48 hours but will shoot up again November 25 onwards.
The overall air quality index in Delhi stood at 360 at 2 pm. Rohini was the most-polluted area with an AQI of 416, followed by Bawana (411) and Anand Vihar (410). Mundka (401), Narela (401) and Vivek Vihar (402) also recorded their air quality in the “severe” category. The AQI in neighbouring Ghaziabad (400), Greater Noida (390) and Noida (384) also bordered the “severe” zone. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’.
An expert at Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, said moderate winds from November 23 would bring some relief but it will be temporary as another western disturbance from November 25 will again cause the wind speed to dip.
“There are chances of good rain on November 25 and 26. If that happens, pollutants will be washed away. Otherwise, a long-term relief is expected only after November 28,” he said. The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research also said, “The air quality is forecast to improve to the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category on Saturday. Further improvement to the poor category is expected by Sunday.”
Due to cloudy weather, the satellites have been able to detect only 141 fires in Harayna and Punjab, it said. “The transport-level winds are westerly which are not very favourable for plume intrusion.
No significant stubble impact is expected for the next two days,” it said.