It’s a really bad pollen day

June grass pollen under a microscope

June grass pollen under a microscope (Susan Kosisky)

Tree counts are HIGH. Grass counts are HIGH. Mold counts are MODERATE. If you’re sneezing like I am, this should explain a lot.

While the tree counts aren’t as bad as they have been, the current concentration is still up there at 372.52 grains per cubic meter of air.

(Susan Kosisky)

(Susan Kosisky)

“Hickory and walnut pollen (very high numbers for the species), oak and mulberry are predominant tree offenders,” writes Susan Kosisky, chief microbiologist at the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab, in her daily pollen update.

Tree pollen was at is worst in late April, when the count soared to 2,871 grains per cubic meter, the highest level since 2010 (and higher than 12 of the past 15 pollen seasons). It’s been on a gradual decline since then, but still flares up a bit, especially on warm, dry days like today.

(Susan Kosisky)

(Susan Kosisky)

Although tree counts are on the downswing, grass counts are soaring.

“Grass pollen is really climbing now…it will be interesting to see if we peak a little early this year as was noted in 2012,” Kosisky writes.

Today’s grass count is 41.53 grains per cubic meter of air which is HIGH, and more than double the average grass count for the second week of May which is around 15, Kosisky says.

The good news is that, if it is indeed peaking now, grass pollen levels should start to decline by the end of the month.

In case you missed it, here’s a short video we produced on the pollen season earlier this week:

Also on Capital Weather Gang

Atlantic hurricane season 2013: What's new and what should we expect?