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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Thursday afternoon issued an orange ozone alert and the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch until midnight Thursday.

Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to move into southeast Wisconsin with damaging winds being the biggest concern. Heavy rainfall is possible and could flood some streets.

Here’s how the AQI works, according to the DNR website:

Because the AQI Thursday jumped to between 101 and 150, the DNR issued the alert so residents with certain health conditions like lung disease, asthma and allergies would know that they are at greater risk for exposure to ozone, or particles in the air.

“Think of the AQI as a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality,” the page reads.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.