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Air Quality Forecasting

Air quality forecasting involves the use of science and technology to predict the concentration of air pollution in the atmosphere for a given location and time. IDEM meteorologists work in conjunction with air quality professionals from local metropolitan areas and neighboring states to review air quality monitored data, evaluate weather patterns and forecast air quality for areas within Indiana and metropolitan areas in adjacent states (i.e., Louisville, Kentucky).

The Office of Air Quality produces daily SmogWatch forecasts for ozone and fine particulates and issues Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) advisories when levels of ozone or fine particulate matter are predicted to build to unhealthy levels over an extended period of time, especially for sensitive groups like children and the elderly.

The daily Air Quality Index (AQI) uses U.S. EPA’s level of concern scale to rate air quality for five criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide) and their health impacts. Indiana’s current AQI and next-day forecasts by region are available on IDEM’s Air Quality Forecasting page.

Local, state, regional and federal forecasting partners include:

Forecasting Resources

Since many factors, such as wildfires, tropical storms, snow cover, as well as other types of weather affect air quality development and the transport (the movement of pollutants by the wind), forecasting involves the review of many different types of information during all times of the year. IDEM forecasters utilize many different resources for information about weather data and events that may impact air, including: