THE CITY witnessed poor air quality in most areas over the past two days. As per data recorded by System of Air-quality-weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), of the 10 suburbs measured, five were in the very poor category, which comes with a precautionary health advisory to stay indoors or use pollution masks when out.
Bhandup, Andheri, Borivli, Mazagaon and Malad were in this category with the AQI at 346 in Borivli, one of the highest in the recent months.
The forecast for Friday says the air quality will remain poor. The city also recorded its highest temperature so far this year on Wednesday, with Santacruz witnessing a maximum temperature of 38.2 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal. The temperature dipped on Thursday at 33.5 degrees Celsius in Santacruz and 31.6 degrees Celsius in Colaba.
The combination of warm weather and high pollution is unusual, as summers are usually less polluting than winter. “The bonfires across the city along with the high temperature and the Deonar fire could be aggravating the air quality,” a weather official said.
Experts also say that the high temperature in Mumbai could be a result of an urban heat island effect, where metropolitan areas are warmer than their surrounding rural areas due to congestion and inadequate open spaces and trees.