With rain gods showering happiness in abundance upon the national Capital, the air quality index (AQI) has improved to 'good category' which is a rare phenomenon here. Sunday ushered in the cleanest air of the year to the Delhiites, owing to widespread rainfall in the National Capital Region (NCR) over the past few days.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) air quality index in the city recorded at 47 on Sunday, which falls in the 'good' category. The AQI improved from 49 on Saturday, the CPCB said. "An AQI between 0 to 50 is considered 'good' air quality", the added.
"Sunday's was the best AQI this year so far," an official said, adding the air quality will remain in the 'good' category for the next three days. For major part of the year, the city witnesses poor air quality.
Meanwhile, the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) attributed the improved air quality to widespread rainfall in and around the NCR.
"Increased west to North rainfall activity in association with the interaction between western disturbance and monsoon low is ensuring longest spell of best air quality of the year. "It will continue for today also. Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall and isolated heavy rainfalls are also expected. Delhi Air quality is predicted to be in good category for next three days," it said.
The Delhi-NCR has received widespread intermittent rainfall over the past few days. Delhi received 1.4 mm rainfall from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm on Saturday, while in 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Saturday it received 7.3 mm rainfall. Some parts of the city received rains on Friday and Thursday as well.
An AQI between 51 and 100 is considered 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'. The level of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) was recorded at 26 and the PM10 level was recorded at 17 on Sunday, the SAFAR said.
Earlier in the day, Delhiites woke up to a rainy Sunday morning with the minimum temperature settling at 24.8 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season's average.
Humidity was recorded at 98 per cent. The Safdarjung observatory, the recording for which is considered official for the city, received 45.7 mm of rainfall while Palam received 11.4 mm rainfall till 8.30 am.
The Lodhi Road observatory received 49.9 mm rainfall while the Ridge received 65.8 mm rainfall. Ayanagar received 20.8 mm rainfall till 8.30 am.
The weatherman has forecast generally cloudy skies with the possibility of light to moderate rain/thundershower with the maximum temperature likely to settle around 30 degrees Celsius.
On Saturday, the maximum temperature settled at 29 degrees Celsius, five degrees below the season's average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 25.2 degrees Celsius, one notch below the average.