NEW DELHI: The capital‘s air quality deteriorated to the “very poor” category on Monday, with an overall (AQI) of 309 – an increase from Sunday‘s reading of a “poor” 276. Agencies, however, forecast that relief is likely from Wednesday, with rain likely from February 13 to 15. Isolated hailstorm could also occur in parts of NCR, officials said.
SAFAR – a body under the ministry of earth sciences – said calm winter conditions and surface inversion is prevailing in the region, with air quality likely to deteriorate further before rain.

“The air quality will be in ‘very poor‘ category on Wednesday and will be in the higher range of ‘very poor‘ thereafter. There is also a likelihood of a fresh , which will bring scattered rain and high winds. These will improve the air quality after February 14,” said SAFAR.

The city‘s minimum temperature has been below normal since last week, when rain and hailstorm activity was recorded in NCR. The minimum temperature on Monday was 7 degrees Celsius – three notches below normal for this time of the season. Humidity levels, meanwhile, oscillated between 49% to 97%, officials said.

“There is a possibility of light rain towards Wednesday evening and night, while there could be rain accompanied with hailstorm activity in some areas on February 14. We also expect some rain on February 15, during which the minimum temperature could rise to around 13 to 14 degrees Celsius,” said an official at the regional met department in Delhi.

Forecast for Tuesday shows shallow fog in the morning with the maximum and minimum temperature hovering around 23 and 9 degrees Celsius respectively.

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