Dust-carrying winds reduce visibility and raise PM10 levels in Delhi

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PM10 levels pierced through roofs in most parts of Delhi on Tuesday morning, accompanied by strong winds whipping up dust.

Scientists from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) attributed the situation to low rainfall, dry soil and strong winds in the area, as well as temperatures that have risen above 40 degrees Celsius in the past few days. I’m assuming it’s because of the extreme heat.

IMD scientist Kuldeep Srivastava said winds were around 48 kilometers per hour around 3-4 am on Tuesday, but fell to about 15-16 kilometers per hour later in the morning. Describing the morning phenomenon, Srivastava said the high temperature had dried out the soil, and since there had been no rain recently, this loose soil was suspended in the air by strong winds. The highest temperature in Delhi has been over 40 degrees Celsius for the past four days.

Asked about what is causing the strong winds in Delhi, Srivastava said the turmoil in the west is affecting northwestern India but not causing heavy rains in the capital. “Such things (winds that stir up dust) sometimes happen in this season,” Srivastava said.

Dust also reduced visibility at IGI airport to about 1,100 meters on Tuesday morning, down from 4,000 meters the day before.

According to Delhi Pollution Control Commission (DPCC) data, PM10 concentration was 1,915 μg/m3 at 9am at Mandir Marg monitoring station. This is about 19 times the 24-hour reference value of 100 µg/m3 and well above the concentration of 160 µg/m3 recorded at 9:00 the night before. PM10 levels in Mandir Marg passed the 1000 μg/cubic meter threshold at 6 am Tuesday.

PM10 level of Jahan Gilpuri

According to DPCC data, at Jahangirpuri monitoring station, PM10 concentration at 9 am was 3,826 µg/m3, 38 times higher than the 24-hour baseline. By 6 pm on Tuesday, the level had fallen to 575 μg/m3, still five times above the 24-hour baseline.

In Nernagar, PM10 levels rose from 62 μg/m3 at 2:00 am Tuesday to 1,757 μg/m3 at 9:00 am.

PM10 is particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter that can be inhaled. Dust in the air can cause high PM10 levels.

PM2.5, normally produced by combustion, also increased on Tuesday morning, although levels were not as high as PM10. In Jahangirpuri, PM2.5 levels were 374 µg/m3 at 9 am, up from 84 µg/m3 at 7 pm on Monday. Similarly, in Nernagar, PM2.5 concentrations were 190 μg/m3 at 9 am, up from 39 μg/m3 at 5 am on Tuesday. The 24-hour standard for PM2.5 is 60 μg/m3.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, high concentrations of respirable particulate matter in the air can be associated with respiratory symptoms such as airway irritation, coughing, and exacerbation of asthma.

Tuesday morning’s high PM10 levels are reflected in the city’s 24-hour average AQI data. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the 24-hour average AQI for most monitoring stations in the city was either “very bad” (301-400) or “poor” (201-300), according to Central Pollution Control Commission data. belonged to the category of PM10 continues to be a significant contaminant at most stations.

The 24-hour average AQI at 6pm was 316 in Anand Vihar, 363 in Shadipur and 342 in Sonia Vihar.

Nehru Nagar PM10 level.

Some areas of NCR performed worse than Delhi on AQI. Greater Noida (318 cases), Noida (292 cases) and Ghaziabad (296 cases), where PM10 was the prominent pollutant.

The Subcommittee of the Commission on Air Quality Management (CAQM) to Initiate Actions Under the Gradual Response Action Plan (GRAP) met on Tuesday to review the air quality situation, but no action was taken. not The subcommittee noted that “this is an exceptional, temporary event” and is likely to “improve in a day or two.”

The IMD had reported to the subcommittee that strong winds kicking up dust swirled across Haryana and Delhi from early Tuesday morning, significantly increasing concentrations of particulate matter.

A source allocation study of PM2.5 and PM10 in Delhi NCR conducted by the Institute of Energy and Resources and the Indian Institute of Automotive Research in 2018 found that dust from roads, soils and construction sites was the largest contributor to PM10 levels in Delhi in the summer. was found to be , resulting in a concentration of about 42 percent. The study suggests that the high contribution of dust sources to summer PM10 is due to dry conditions and high wind speeds.

The highest temperature recorded on Tuesday was 39.9 degrees Celsius, one notch below normal.

Wednesday could be partly cloudy with highs of around 41 degrees Celsius, but light rain and gusty winds of 25-35 kilometers per hour are expected on Thursday. The maximum temperature is expected to rise further to around 44 degrees Celsius by May 21.

An IMD bulletin issued on Tuesday said dust-blowing winds or sandstorms are likely to end in isolated areas of Haryana, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan from May 16-18. rice field.

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