Weather Blog: What factors affect pollen count?

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(WRDW/WAGT) -- You've probably noticed, pollen counts are high. That's bad news for 35 million of us with pollen allergies. People with tree allergies really suffer during the spring and certain factors make it worse.

Certain times of days are worse than others. Trees usually pollinate in the morning, so tree pollen is highest between 5-9 am.

Weather also plays a factor. The stronger the wind and drier the air, the higher the pollen count.

Bob Brown, an Augusta resident, says, “around here you tend to see the cloud of it at times when the wind is really up”.

Irene Hofstetter, also an Augusta resident, added, “it seems like when it is dry and windy it seems worse to me”.

Whenever it is humid, rainy, and/or calm, the pollen count lowers.

Yaz Mastor is visiting the region from Australia and says she notices changes in her allergy symptoms as weather changes. “On damper days or when it’s cloudy or overcast it doesn’t affect me as much if the wind or air is still”, says Mastor.

For visitors and new comers to the CSRA, the amount of pollen pumped out by trees in late winter and early spring can be surprising.

“I've never seen anything like this. It's like yellow snow”, says Lewis Aziles who is visiting Augusta from Orlando.

Pine trees are why everything outside has turned yellow, but pine trees usually do not cause allergy problems. Oaks, elms, junipers and other trees that produce less visible and smaller pollen particles are to blame. The average pollen particle diameter is smaller than the width of your hair.

The good news is pollen counts should go down on Friday since we are expecting rain. The bad news is the relief will be short-lived. We will be on a roller coaster ride of low and high days until we transition into grass pollen season in late spring-early summer.

The best way to battle pollen allergies is staying inside and closing your windows. Pollen does accumulate on hair and clothes, so if you have severe allergies it may be best to change clothes once you get home and also shower. When you do go outside, wear a painter’s mask to prevent particles from entering your airways.