Respite over: Temp climbs, air quality drops to ‘poor’
Mumbai: After a slight relief, Mumbaikars were back to feeling the heat, with maximum temperatures inching upwards, while after almost the four months of monsoon, air quality levels dipped into the poor category on Saturday.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) Santacruz observatory said the temperature touched 37°C on Saturday; on Friday, it was 33-34°C.
Ghatkopar resident Pritesh Shah said the heat had become unbearable over the past few days. “It is difficult to travel anywhere in the city. I have been carrying my cap and water bottle each time I leave home,” he said.
IMD officials said the drop in temperature last week was due to cyclones Titli and Luban along the Indian coastline. The cyclones caused a cloudy cover in the city and increased humidity levels. “As the cyclones have not moved away, temperatures will rise again,” said a weather department official.
On Saturday, the maximum temperature recorded at IMD’s Colaba observatory too was 37°C, more than 4°C above normal. The humidity levels at Colaba and Santacruz were 70% and 62% respectively.
According to System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality index of the city was 233. An AQI between 201-300 is harmful for the health of sensitive people.
During the rain, air pollutants get washed away and air quality remains under 100, which is considered good. The AQI breached the 100-mark on September 28 and has been between 101-200 since.
Among 10 locations monitored by SAFAR, the highest pollution level of 331 was recorded at Navi Mumbai. The cleanest air was recorded at Bhandup, with an AQI of 181.
Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR said, “There is a lot of dust picking up in Gujarat and it’s getting carried into Mumbai. Additionally, the winds are extremely calm and hence the poor air quality in spite of the high temperature. The conditions will continue for the next two days.”