Dust Winds

Dust-laden winds swept Delhi on Tuesday, pushing the air quality into the poor category and increasing the concentration of coarse particles in the air.

Important points:

  • According to forecasts, strong winds that are carrying dust to Delhi from Rajasthan are expected to continue until Thursday.
  • The concentration of particulate matter of 10 micrometres (PM10) — coarse particles suspended in the air — was 341 micrograms per cubic metre air (µg/m3) as of 5pm, against the 24-hour acceptable limit of 100 µg/m3.
  • The concentration of PM2.5 — particles that are smaller in size and are released from combustion activities — was about 105 µg/m3, a little higher than the 24-hour acceptable limit of 60 µg/m3.
  • The spike in PM10 concentration shows the impact of dust-laden winds on air quality, which, according to the Centre’s Early Warning System for Delhi, is expected to largely remain in poor category for the next five days.

Reason for Dust Winds in Delhi

  • Weather and environmental experts said a cyclonic circulation over Rajasthan and high temperatures over the past few days in northwest India is contributing to this phenomenon.
  • Delhi witnesses long-range transport of dust nearly every year from Rajasthan, and even from Afghanistan, during summer months.


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