Allergy sufferers know that we aren't far off from the allergy season. In fact, signs that levels are rising are already around with the sneezing, sniffling, and itchy eyes already pestering the Fox9 newsroom. So what gives? Why are the allergies returning when the snow hasn't even melted yet? Well, pollen is a funny thing. It is not only around when you least expect it, but can travel hundreds of miles in the atmosphere. So right now, we are getting pollen transported from areas of the southern and central U.S. All it takes is a southerly wind for a couple of days and the pollen from blooming trees and grasses in areas of Texas to the Tennessee valley make their way to the Upper Midwest. Just take a look at the current pollen counts from across the country.
As you would imagine, moderate to high counts where the leaves are budding and the grasses are waking up with levels gradually dropping off the further north you go. But it won't be long before allergy season gets underway here. In fact, a lot of trees actually release pollen before any signs of life are seen so once the snow has melted, and highs climb even occasionally into the 50's and 60's, trees and grasses release pollen to get the flower and budding season going which typically lasts through May. Here is the pollen forecast for the metro over the next 5 days according to pollen.com
Clearly, still low levels, but any pollen in the atmosphere right now is transport pollen from areas to our south. The spring is typically just grass and tree pollen and isn't always that strong here, with peak levels near the moderate category. Levels actually drop in the summer months of June and July, before allergy season peaks sometime late summer. It's typically about 6 weeks from the end of July through August and into early September. This is where ragweed and hay fever suffers can be miserable before the first fall freeze pushes plants back into dormancy for the winter sometime in late September and October. Here is what the average pollen season looks like for the metro.