January 15, 2024

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Northerly winds bring Mumbai AQI to 73, help cool down city | Mumbai News

2 min read

On Monday morning, Mumbaikars woke up to pleasant weather and clear skies with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) touching 73 in the city. While the maximum temperature floated over 30 degrees, the minimum dropped to 18.7 degrees on Sunday night, indicating a stark fall from Saturday. Scientists and weather experts said Mumbai is experiencing good AQI due to northerlies that arrived Sunday.

Data from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed that while the overall AQI stood at 73 — which falls in the satisfactory category — five of the city’s 19 recording stations registered an AQI below 50, which is categorised as ‘good’. The best air quality was in Worli where the AQI stood at 34 followed by Bhandup’s Khindipada (44) and Borivali and Vile Parle (49). At 105, the worst AQI was registered in Malad.

Responding to questions, scientists from India Meteorological Department (IMD) attributed the improvement in air quality to changing wind directions and influx of the northerlies. “Last week, Mumbai was reeling under high temperatures owing to the prominent Southeasterly winds, which are moist in nature. However, since Sunday, we have had the northerly wind component which has resulted in the improvement of air quality. The change in wind direction is largely responsible for the good AQI,” Sushma Nair from IMD Mumbai told The Indian Express.

Unlike last winter, Mumbai has been experiencing moderate air quality for a prolonged period this winter.

Senior scientist and project director of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecast and Research (SAFAR), Gufran Beig, attributed the good air quality to higher wind speeds and velocity. Beig said, “This year, the surface winds are relatively high. Currently, we are in an El Nino year. This phenomenon escalates the wind speed in the western region.”

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