The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has issued an air quality alert. The rising temperatures are causing unhealthy levels of ozone, causing state officials to warn residents to limit their exertion while outside.

The press release from the Maine DEP says the unhealthy levels of ozone will be confined to the Southwest Coastal Regions of Maine with moderate levels of ozone expected for the Western interior, Mid-Coast, High Elevations of Acadia NP and the Downeast Coast. Those unhealthy levels are expected to spread through the state on Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday.

What all this means is that being outside could be uncomfortable for some people today, including children and anyone suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis, or COPD. Even healthy adults could experience some discomfort if they exert themselves, including shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or an uncomfortable feeling in their chest.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself from feeling the effects of the unhealthy air quality is to reduce your outdoor activity during the afternoon. In other words, today might not be the best day to mow the lawn. And, if you have to do it, wait until the evening hours when it cools down. If you do have to be outside, taking frequent breaks to sit inside is suggested.

It's going to be incredibly hot today, so take precautions. Stay inside in the air conditioning as much as possible, and keep your pets inside too. Make sure they have plenty of water and, for the times when they are outside, make sure they have a place to get some shade. Check on your elderly neighbors and relatives to make sure they have a way to stay cool. And, of course, drink plenty of water!