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Mercury drops to 10 degrees in Delhi; AQI 'very poor'

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) Delhi woke up to a misty Tuesday morning as the minimum temperature dropped to 10 degrees Celsius with a "very poor" air quality that is likely to continue for at least three more days.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the maximum temperature for the day will settle at 27 degrees Celsius, one degree more than Monday's 26.4 degrees.

This week, the maximum temperature will fluctuate between 26 to 28 degrees and the minimum between 10 to 11 degrees, according to the IMD data. The relative humidity at 8.30 a.m. was recorded at 88 per cent.

As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Delhi's overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 9 a.m. stood at 331. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', then 401 and between 500 is considered 'severe'.

"The AQI is unlikely to improve on Tuesday as winds at transport level are increasing resulting in more intrusion of farm fires related pollutants into Delhi. Calm local winds also reduce dispersion of pollutants. So the air quality is expected to remain in the higher end of very poor category for the day," as per SAFAR estimates.

The effective farm fire count is 3,125 and its contribution to Delhi's PM2.5 is 10 per cent. On Wednesday, winds at transport level are forecast to be blowing from the east direction and slowing down causing air quality to improve on November 17.

On Thursday also, winds are expected to be blowing from the east direction which will prevent intrusion of fire related pollutants into Delhi. Surface winds are slowing down further on 17th and 18th reducing dispersion. Overall the AQI is expected to be in the "very poor" category range for the next three days.