An air quality alert and a heat advisory have been issued ahead of a scorching Tuesday forecast that could see elevated ozone levels along the Maine coast.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection warns that an expected increase in the concentration of ozone levels along the coast Tuesday will put people at risk, especially those who are sensitive to air pollutants.
“At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation,” the DEP wrote. “When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.”
The elevated ozone levels are expected to arrive during a heat wave that rolled into Maine starting Monday afternoon, and is expected to push the state into the upper 90s through the Fourth of July holiday.
The weather has prompted a heat advisory to be in effect from 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday , according to the National Weather Service.
It’s the second heat advisory issued in two days and likely won’t be the last.
“The heat and humidity will remain across the region through Thursday,” the weather service wrote. “The Down East coast will have lower heat index values due to a sea breeze.”
Tuesday is expected to reach 90 degrees but feel as hot as 96, according to the weather service. In Greater Bangor, there’s a 30 percent chance the intense humidity will develop into heavy rain and thunderstorms after 1 p.m., the service said.
The DEP and the NWS advised people to stay indoors and avoid strenuous outdoor activity Tuesday, especially during the afternoon.
On Wednesday’s holiday, skies are predicted to clear into a sunny, hot Independence Day, with a high temperature of 93 during the day.
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