BELFAST, Maine — The sudden burst of heat in Maine on Thursday has prompted an air quality warning for all of coastal Maine.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday that ground-level ozone concentrations are expected to increase Thursday as the temperature spikes into the high 80s or low 90s.
Elevated ozone levels can cause breathing problems and lung irritation in children, exercising adults and people suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
“When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest,” according to the DEP.
The department said these elevated ozone levels have been building in southern and central parts of U.S. and have worked their way into Maine.
With temperatures jumping into the 70s over the past two days and spiking to 90 in parts of the state Thursday, police and other agencies are urging people to be mindful of the heat.
On Wednesday, Windham police charged a woman with cruelty to animals after she left her dog alone in a car with the windows up and no air conditioning or water.
Even though the temperature outside was only in the low 70s at the time, the temperature inside the vehicle had risen to about 94 degrees, according to police.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.