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Air quality warning in effect Thursday, heat index to reach 100 next week

The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency has issued an air quality warning through Thursday evening.

According to the National Air Quality Index, ozone pollutants are expected to reach the “orange” level, which is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, especially young children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions.

The alert is in effect on Thursday evening midnight until 11:59 PM. Areas under the warning include Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio, Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana.

The National Weather Service in Wilmington advises people to carpool, bike, walk or take the bus instead of driving alone. The NWS also recommends that people fuel up their cars after 8 p.m. and mow their lawns in the evening to avoid using gas-powered lawn mowers. Also avoid idling in the car as exhaust fumes contribute to air pollution.

What does an air quality alarm mean?

  • Take the bus, carpool or walk instead of driving.

  • Fuel your car after 6 p.m. Do not refill while refueling and tighten the fuel cap securely.

  • Do not let your vehicle idle.

  • Combine trips or eliminate unnecessary trips.

  • Keep your vehicle maintained with properly inflated tires and timely oil changes.

  • Avoid using gasoline powered equipment.

  • Avoid using oil-based paints and stains.

  • Never burn leaves or other garden waste.

  • Burn clean, dried wood in fire pits, fireplaces and wood stoves.

  • Avoid using fire pits or fireplaces for non-essential heating of your home.

  • Save electricity.

The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency has issued an air quality warning through Thursday evening.

The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency has issued an air quality warning through Thursday evening.

What is an air quality alarm?

According to Columbia University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Air Quality Index, or AQI, “to monitor and report air quality every day and inform people about the potential health impacts.”

More than 1,000 locations across the United States monitor and record the air for four major pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. An air quality index level of 100 is considered safe. An AQI below 100 is good or acceptable, and an AQI above 100 is cause for concern, especially for vulnerable groups. Levels above 300 indicate hazardous conditions.

Detailed Cincinnati forecast

There will also be a few showers and thunderstorms Thursday evening and Friday morning, followed by a cold front moving through the area tonight through late Friday. This will cause temperatures to drop somewhat at the end of the week, but warm conditions will quickly pick up again on Sunday.

The dangerous weather outlook calls for unseasonably warm conditions to develop in the tri-state area through early next week. The combination of heat and humidity will result in heat indexes around 100 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming southwesterly at 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday evening: Increasing clouds, with a low around 66. Southwest wind around 5 mph, calm in the evening.

Friday: A chance of rain and thunder before 10 a.m., a small chance of rain and thunder after 1 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high around 85 degrees. Light and variable winds turning northwesterly at 5 to 12 km/h in the morning. The chance of precipitation is 30%.

Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 62. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 87. Calm winds shifting east around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Saturday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 62.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 96.

Monday: Mostly sunny and warm, with a high near 98.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 96.

Wednesday (June): Mostly sunny and warm, with a high near 97.

Source: National Weather Service, Wilmington.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Weather: Air quality warning in effect Thursday in Cincinnati