If some residents of our state were looking for an official excuse not to go outside today, they may have just found one. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has posted an air quality alert for a large portion of southeastern Louisiana today.

The advisory includes the cities of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Slidell, Covington, Donaldsonville, and many others. The reason for the advisory is higher than normal levels of ozone. This might be most noticeable during the afternoon hours, especially by those that are sensitive to ozone or have respiratory issues.

State officials encourage those who might have difficulty with increased levels of ozone to stay inside and limit time out of doors. They also suggest that strenuous activities such as lawn care, gardening, and sports be curtailed until air quality conditions improve.

The air quality alert is in effect from 6 am Friday morning until midnight Friday night.