New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) The National Capital Region (NCR) on Wednesday saw a sudden deterioration in air quality as the entire region was under the grip of dust bough through winds from Rajasthan, Iran and southern Afghanistan, officials said.
The dust raising winds, currently south-westerly and westerly, have been showing their effect since Tuesday and shall continue for next two days with the entire Uttar Pradesh coming under the grip by Thursday, IMD scientists told IANS.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) on a scale of 0 to 500 for Delhi was "severe" at 445 against "poor" at 296 on Tuesday.
The AQI at Gurugram was 488, at Greater Noida 500, at Bhiwadi 483 and at Bulandshahr 500 -- all considered "severe".
"There was an anti-wind pattern towards Rajasthan, so the winds blowing about 30 to 40 kmph had bought the entire region, including Delhi, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan under the grip of dust," Kuldeep Srivastava, IMD scientist, told IANS.
He added that the situation will continue for the next two days.
"By midnight, entire Uttar Pradesh is likely to be under the grip of dust storm," Srivastava added.
According to private weather forecasting agency Skymet, the dust raising winds from the Iran and southern Afghanistan will continue till light rain showers bring respite to Delhi and adjoining regions towards on June 16 and 17.
"At present, the atmosphere from ground level till 20,000 feet has dust. This is due to the anti-cyclone formation in Iran and southern Afghanistan, since the winds are blowing at lower level and speed had been good, so there is still some clarity. Else the situation could have been worse," Mahesh Palawat, Director Skymet, told IANS.