Smog: Chennai’s air quality is getting worse

Vinson Kurian Chennai | Updated on November 07, 2019

A representational image.   -  THE HINDU

Weather trackers say air quality index (AQI) shows that the level of PM2.5 has risen alarmingly

Very unhealthy! Poor! Low! Major pollution trackers blared with a disconcerting harmony as Chennaiites woke up to breathe sickly air this Thursday morning, the fourth on the trot. The air quality index (AQI), which refers to the finer particles or particulate matter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5), has worsened to 221 at Velachery, announced

And there is no major improvement forecast for the next three to four days as well.



Humidity levels has risen back to 100 per cent after a few days with winds still being variable with a bias towards the unfriendly westerly-northwesterly, says the Chennai Met Office of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Combined with the practically still air (calm, as reported early in the morning), it doesn't help relieve the situation in any conceivable manner. The pollutants can't but hang in the air unless the winds pick up speed!

The pollution tracker at, an IBM Business, assesses the AQI for Chennai at 314, even worse!

This may cause respiratory illness for people with prolonged exposure. The effect may be pronounced in people with lung or heart diseases. And if you are a pranayama practitioner, it may not be a bad idea to ensure you that you are in a safe environment before beginning.

Sensitive Groups should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Move activities indoors, or reschedule to a time when the air quality is better.


Weather Bug, too, sees air quality low on a different scale, at 79 (with PM2.5 at 105). It uses a scale of excellent (0-19); fair (20-39);, moderate (40-59); low (60-79); and poor (80-100).


Given this morning's level, there is a strong chance for respiratory distress for those with respiratory sensitivities, it warns.

People with lung ailments such as asthma, children, older adults, and outdoor workers should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

There is nothing wrong with spending some quality time at home with the air-conditioner on!

Unless you really have to, our recommendation is to minimise your time outdoors, says the WeatherBug tracker.

There is a strong chance for respiratory distress for those with respiratory sensitivities. Keep calm and stay indoors. Do it for the kids....

Also, with this air-quality level, one should look for cleaner places to engage in outdoor activity.

Meanwhile, Chennai’s bloggers and Twitterati went into a huddle discussing all kinds of permutations and combinations.

@parthasri201475 sees pollution-buster rains returning to Tamil Nadu in a week's time.

Parthan IN Weather on Twitter

“️Flash - Northeast Monsoon to return in Tamil Nadu from 15th onwards. An atmospheric wave called Rossby to emerge in Bay, which will bring the monsoon rains back in state. This includes every parts of the state.”

ChennaiWeather on Twitter

“#Chennairains #Tamilnadurains Monsoon not over yer & still long way to go..but ppl should forget upcoming system #Matmo as it’s moving away .. Nevertheless MJO is entering Indian Ocean by end of Nov 3rd week & stays until dec 10.. Nov 20 to dec 10 is the period to watch out”

Published on November 07, 2019

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