Delhi recorded the warmest January day since 2012 on Sunday with the maximum temperature settling at 28.7 degrees Celsius, seven notches above the season's average. While it was cold and foggy in the early hours with a minimum temperature of 7 degrees Celsius, which is normal for this time of the year, the mercury rose to 28.7 degrees Celsius by the evening, a Met department official said. The humidity levels oscillated between 48 per cent and 100 per cent. The official said it was the warmest January day since 2012, when it was 25.6 degrees Celsius on January 16, 2012. Last year, the warmest day was recorded on January 19 at 27.7 degrees Celsius, he added.
The maximum temperature is expected to drop on Monday to 25 degrees Celsius, while the minimum is likely to be around 10 degrees Celsius, he added.
For Monday, the weatherman has predicted a cloudy sky with light rain or thunderstorms in the evening or at night. There is also the possibility of isolated incidents of hailstorms, he said and added that gusty winds are likely to prevail. On Saturday, the maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded at 25.9 degrees Celsius and 5.7 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Meanwhile, the air quality in the capital city was oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories on Sunday as wind speed dropped and slowed down dispersion of pollutants, authorities said.
According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was 399, which falls in the 'very poor' category, and remains just two points below 'severe'. The air quality Sunday morning was recorded in the 'severe' category, CPCB data showed.
On Sunday, as many as 10 areas recorded 'severe' air quality and 22 'very poor', the CPCB said. In the National Capital Region, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad recorded 'severe' air quality, while Greater Noida recorded 'very poor' air quality, it said.
The overall PM2.5 level -- fine particulate matters in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres -- in Delhi was 332, while the PM10 level was 497, it said. The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the overall air quality over Delhi is fluctuating between 'very poor' and 'severe'.
"The dispersion is low. Western disturbances influence may impact Delhi's air quality by introducing the moisture and making the air heavy. The expected fall in temperature and moderate fog is likely to bring down the inversion layer to keep both gaseous and particulate pollutants near the surface.
"Hence, significant recover only by Wednesday if sufficient amount of rain occurs as expected," the SAFAR said.