Light rain and thunder likely in Mumbai; AQI remains very poor

The city’s air quality deteriorated further on Thursday as the air quality index (AQI) — a pollutant measuring indicator — measured 313, the worst so far this year.

Mumbai is also likely to receive light rain with thunderstorms and Thane may see thunderstorms with lightning on Friday, according to a forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

An overall AQI of 313 (very poor) was measured on Thursday, which was worse than Wednesday’s 309, as temperatures remained low. The AQI, calculated by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), is the average of indices recorded at 10 locations in the city and suburbs. SAFAR categorises AQI levels for PM2.5 in the 0-50 range as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.

Navi Mumbai reported the worst air of the 10 stations, with AQI of 329, which was closely followed by Borivli with AQI of 326.

“As winter conditions persist, low dispersion of pollutant particles in the air is seen. This is why the air quality is in the very poor category. It is likely to remain poor over the next two days,” said a spokesperson from SAFAR.

While the city remained dry, some neighbouring areas such as Thane and Badlapur saw thunderstorms and mild showers. Maximum temperatures remained low for the second consecutive day.

The Santacruz weather station, representative of the suburbs and Mumbai, recorded a maximum temperature of 30.7 degree Celsius, 2.5 degrees below normal. At Colaba, the maximum temperature was 28 degree Celsius, a drop of 0.5 degrees from normal. The minimum temperature at Colaba was 21 degrees Celsius, and at Santacruz, it was 20 degree Celsius, 0.1 degree below normal.

IMD has predicted light rain, thundershowers in Mumbai for the next two days. Thane district is likely to see thunderstorms and lightning owing to a trough along the coast of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

“Under the influence of a trough in low-level easterlies from Karnataka coast to Maharashtra coast in lower tropospheric levels; isolated to scattered rainfall with moderate thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places are very likely over Maharashtra in the next two days,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general of western region, IMD.

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