DC-area pollen levels ‘high,’ no relief in sight

WASHINGTON — Are you tired of the yellow-greenish film and a filtered haze in the air? You are not alone. For the second time this year, the allergy season has peaked — and it looks like the pollen is here to stay for the next few days.

Over the weekend, tree pollen was through the roof, marking the second time in 2017 that pollen levels have peaked (the time before that was at the end of February). Tree pollen was in the “very high” category over the weekend, meaning that “almost all allergy sufferers will experience symptoms,” U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab Chief Microbiologist Susan Kosisky said in the agency’s Pollen and Spore Report.

“Those folks that are extremely sensitive could have severe symptoms,” Kosisky added in the report.

Pollen levels are in the ‘high’ category as of Tuesday afternoon.

Although the region peaked over the weekend (tree pollen was over 2665.50 grains per cubic meter of air), it looks like the pollen is here to stay — at least until we can get some substantial rain, the report added.

While pollen levels may not be as high in the coming days considering trees only produce so much pollen, we are still looking at pretty significant tree pollen levels with Oak being the biggest offender (sycamore, ash, pine and birch are also on the list).

Oak catkins, which have spiked fuzzy tassels that hang from the trees, are loaded with their pollen are still spreading their pollen into the air. As the start to fall (as they have started to do in some locations — in fact, you may notice a lot more laying on the ground in the coming days) the tree pollen levels will begin to decline.

The region also has a good chance of a soaking rain late in the weekend through perhaps early next week that could help cleanse the air. Keep your fingers crossed — hopefully we can head into May on a much less yellow-covered slate.

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