Fox News Weather Center

No significant relief expected as Delhi suffers worst smog event in nearly 2 decades

It will likely take months for significant relief from the dangerous smog to unfold in northern India and Pakistan.

New Delhi is among the communities throughout northern India and into Pakistan being shrouded by smog, resulting in extremely hazardous air quality and poor visibility for travelers.

According to the Centre for Science and Environment and the India Meteorological Department, smog hit the worst level in 17 years on Nov. 2.

Officials were forced close more than 5,000 schools across the city early this week, and construction and demolition work was banned for the week, according to CNN.

Indians take selfies at a public park enveloped by thick smog in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Vehicle usage restrictions may be imposed if conditions do not improve. Residents are also facing shortages on face masks, BBC News reported.

The air quality index soared to 999 earlier this week at Anand 9, Delhi, located northeast of downtown New Delhi. That is nearly twice the top threshold for air quality levels deemed hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Unfortunately, no weather systems to help improve the air quality and visibility are on the horizon.

A strong dome of high pressure will continue to cause northern India and Pakistan to be engulfed by the dangerous smog through at least the remainder of this week. High pressure puts a lid on the atmosphere, keeping pollutants and stagnant air trapped at the surface.

A weak storm system will drop into northwestern India this weekend. However, AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty said that it will only clip northwestern India and will not be followed by a push of fresh air behind it.

"The system could bring some improvement, but nothing of significance, and air conditions will likely remain unhealthy," he said.

That will be the theme through this winter and into early spring, as is typical for the region.

"You have to get a strong system to swing through to mix out [the pollutants and stagnant air]," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said, "but that will lead to improvement for only a day or two."

Motorists drive through a road close to historical Badshahi mosque while dense smog engulf the neighborhood of Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Such systems will be limited across the region this winter, Nicholls warned in the AccuWeather 2016-2017 Asia winter forecast.

"A weak storm track will offer little in the way of wind to stir up the atmosphere from Pakistan to central and northern India," he said. "Not until the late spring will the smog and stagnant air start to mix out with the higher sun angle."

A higher sun angle will help to warm the lower levels of the atmosphere and help to break the lid that keeps the stagnant air and pollutants trapped at the surface.