Sunday: coldest and worst-polluted Dec for Delhi

People gather around a makeshift bonfire to warm themselves on a cold, foggy morning, in New Delhi, on Sunday. PTI

The national capital on Sunday shivered with minimum temperatures slipping below 4 degree Celsius, recording the coldest December temperature in the past 12 years, while pollution level too hit rock bottom once again.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 3.7 degree Celsius, four degrees below normal, on Sunday morning, the coldest December day in the past 12 years. The second lowest minimum temperature for the month was recorded on December 29, 2007, at 3.9 degrees Celsius.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed that the all-time lowest temperature in Delhi for December was 1.1 degrees Celsius, which recorded on December 26, 1945.

Adding to the winter woes, the Air Quality Index (AQI) showed a worsened situation with the capital recording the second highest pollution level of the year.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed the overall AQI at 'severe' level of 446 while the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) showed AQI at 471 in the capital. Earlier on November 8, a day after Diwali, the capital had recorded the worst AQI at 571.

Officials said unfavourable meteorological conditions are likely to keep the air quality in the 'severe' category for the next couple of days.

An AQI between 100 to 200 comes under the 'moderate' category, 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', while that between 401 and 500 is 'severe'.

On Saturday, the CPCB-led task force recommended minimising outdoor exposure for the next couple of days and avoiding the use of private vehicles.

The IMD prediction said a prolonged period of light winds and low temperature are likely to continue for next three to five days, resulting in poor dispersion of pollutants and the air quality may continue to remain in the 'severe' category for the next two to three days.

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Sunday: coldest and worst-polluted Dec for Delhi

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