New Delhi: Air quality across the National Capital Region (NCR) turned 'severe' yet again, with dense smog engulfing the region on Thursday.

According to the government's air quality monitoring service, SAFAR , the Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 410 for Delhi, 423 for Gurugram and 461 for Noida early Thursday.

The situation had improved last week as prevailing winds dispersed the accumulated pollutants and brought down the AQI levels to 200-300 (poor). The air quality worsened Tuesday onwards as minimum temperatures fell.

According to SAFAR, the situation is not expected to persist for long though as India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted intense wet spell over the north-western plains during December 12-13 following a western disturbance over the western Himalayan region.

The weather system would not only cause heavy rainfall/snowfall over Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, but also bring scattered heavy rainfall over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and some parts of Uttar Pradesh from Thursday onwards. This could also lead to an increase in the wind speed and improve ventilation index for mixing of pollutants during the period.

SAFAR model suggests the AQI may rapidly improve towards the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category by late Thursday, and may remain in poor to moderate levels on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, contribution from stubble burning remains low as only a few biomass fire counts have been observed over the last two days and no significant PM2.5 contribution is expected over the coming days.

However, after the impact of western disturbance subsides, an increase in moisture level could create foggy conditions over the region 16 December onwards, and lead to deterioration in the air quality once again.

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