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Double Whammy for Delhi NCR as Pollution Levels Rise, Mercury Dips

A person walks a dog in a garden on a smoggy morning in New Delhi. (Reuters)

A person walks a dog in a garden on a smoggy morning in New Delhi. (Reuters)

While the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a marginal increase in the temperatures until Saturday, another fresh coldwave spell will hit the Delhi NCR and the temperatures will fall further.

Delhi woke up to a chilly and smoggy morning as the visibility came down in various parts. The minimum temperature recorded on Thursday remained 4.5 degree celsius and the maximum is likely to hover around 23 degree celsius.

While the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a marginal increase in the temperatures until Saturday, another fresh coldwave spell will hit the Delhi NCR and the temperatures will fall further.

Meanwhile, dense fog reduced visibility to just 100 metres in parts of Delhi on Thursday, affecting traffic movement, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, settled at 4.5 degrees Celsius.

With the unfavourable meteorological conditions, the overall Air Quality Index in various Northern Indian cities is deteriorating. The AQI has been worsened to ‘Severe’ levels in Agra, Baghpat, Bhiwadi, Bulandshahr, Delhi, Dharuhera, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Hisar, Meerut, Noida, Singrauli

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Severe is the highest level of the six point pollution measuring scale. The other determinants being, Good, Satisfactory, Moderate, Poor, Very Poor and Severe. Spiking pollution levels may result in decreased respiratory immunity exposing the vulnerable people to an increased risk of infections including SARS Covid-19.

Dense fog in the Palam area reduced visibility to 100 metres between 5:30 am and 8 am. At Safdarjung, moderate fog lowered visibility to 201 metres, Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre said. According to the weather department, very dense fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres, 51 and 200 is dense, 201 and 500 moderate, and 501 and 1,000 shallow. Cold wave conditions are predicted in parts of Delhi over the next two days. The mercury is expected to drop to three Celsius on Friday.

Moderate to dense fog is also expected during the period, the IMD said. For the plains, the IMD declares acoldwavewhen the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches less than normal.

High humidity, low wind speed and lowering temperatures kept Delhi’s air quality in the “severe" zone for the third day on the trot, according to weather department officials. No major improvement is predicted till December 26, Srivastava said.

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