Seasonal Pollen – Part 2

A pollen count, which is familiar to many people from local weather reports, is a measure of how much pollen is in the air. This count represents the concentration of all the pollen, expressed as grains of pollen per cubic meter of air collected over 24 hours. This count is generated by certified Pollen Counters of the National Allergy Bureau (NAB). There are only 106 certified pollen counters in the country and 81 NAB-certified counting stations across the United States, Canada and Argentina. Each count comes from a NAB counting station, which is part of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s (AAAAI) Aeroallergen Network, responsible for reporting current pollen and mold spore levels to the public.

Weather has significant effects on pollen release. The most pollen will be released on warm, dry, sunny, and windy days. Cold temperatures and high humidity delay pollen release, and precipitation washes pollen out of the air. Certain weather conditions can increase or decrease the amount of pollination. If the winter is mild, then typically the allergy season will begin early because the trees will release their pollen earlier than normal. If, on the other hand, a mild spring occurs this will intensify the tree pollen release for the spring. Winds are another contributing factor, which can spread the pollen rapidly, thus increasing the pollination. The windier the conditions are, the higher distribution of pollen within the air. If the weather generates a late freeze, then tree pollination will be delayed or could possibly decrease. Increased rain amounts in fall or winter can cause an increase in spring tree pollination amounts. Increased rain amounts in spring can stimulate grass growth, thus producing more grass pollen. The lifeline of pollen depends on the weather, through dry days, breezy days, rainy days, foggy days and, humid days.

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About the author: Joe Fiorilli