Is the DC region past the peak of the allergy season?

There is finally some good news for allergy sufferers in the D.C. area.

The greenish-brown stuff sitting in people’s driveways is called oak catkin, the male flower of the tree. The catkins falling is a sign that the area has passed peak tree pollen season.

The U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab in Silver Spring, Maryland, said the region has actually experienced two tree pollen peaks this year.

“The 1st was the 3rd week in February owing to a surge of cedar/cypress/juniper pollen after temperatures soaring to over 80 degrees,” Susan Kosisky, chief microbiologist at the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab, said in an email.

“The second peak was last week, where we saw sunny, breezy days in the 80s, which were well above normal.”

Most of it is driven by the area’s warmer-than-normal temperatures. The D.C. region may experience some rain this weekend, which would help calm things down, but grass pollen expects to peak in May.

In March, a study from Climate Central, which tracks the effects of climate change, found that the spring allergy season in D.C. has gotten longer over time.

As a result, local doctors have advised those with bad allergies to take allergy medication early before it gets worsens.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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