Allergy sufferers beware: Pollen blast could be around the corner

That time of year when allergy sufferers start to get uncomfortable is rapidly approaching.

Late February is when tree pollen counts can really climb, according to Susan Kosisky, chief of the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab.

If the area gets dry days with temperatures in the mid-50s to near 70 degrees, “those early flowering trees will start releasing pretty decent amounts of pollen,” Kosisky said. Those trees include maples, elms, some birches and members of the cedar-cypress-juniper family.

Additionally, January caused some uncomfortable moments for many allergy sufferers after a temperature spike to near 70 degrees caused tree pollen to surge to a level about 75 times higher than the daily average. Kosisky said the area likely saw, “one of the highest recorded, if not the highest recorded, daily counts for that month over the 20 or so years of data.”

While pollen production can ramp up in February, “April is when things really get started,” Kosisky said.

Tree pollen reached a “moderate” level on Wednesday.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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