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STATEWIDE–Portions of central, southeast, and southwest Indiana are under an Air Quality Action Day Tuesday due to increased levels of ozone in the forecast and warmer temperatures.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) issued the ADAQ for the following counties:

Central Indiana – Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hendricks, Howard, Madison, Shelby

Southeast Indiana – Clark, Floyd

Southwest Indiana – Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, Warrick

Among other things, IDEM urges you to spend less time outside and avoid using lawn equipment until after 7 pm. Temperatures are supposed to get warmer over the next few days all across Indiana.

Children, the elderly, and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combined with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations.

Rain could also return later this week.

“Temperatures could reach into the mid-90s Friday. Then we have a cold front that is going to be moving in late Friday night. Temperatures are going to drop into the 80s by Saturday. Rain could return late Friday night, but we’re not sure how long the rain will linger because the cold front will stall. We’re not sure yet how fast that cold front will move through,” said Mallory Monaghan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

Some places in Indiana are dealing with “abnormally dry” or conditions that bring “moderate drought.”