Oh nose! Tree pollen spikes to high level

Between the unseasonable warmth, storms, then cold and wind, the National Weather Service joked there was something for everyone in the next 36 hours’ weather.  It forgot to mention pollen, which surged to high levels in this morning’s count, following Tuesday’s 70-degree weather.

“Wow, alder, birch, cedar/cyp/jun, elm and maple and pine trees took advantage of the nice weather yesterday,” writes Susan Kosisky, director at the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab.  “Our tree count climbed into the HIGH range at 177 grains/cubic meter!”


Tree pollen counts in 2012, 2013, and 2014 compared to long term averages (Susan Kosisky, US Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab, adapted by CWG)

The spike occurred around the same time similar increases occurred in 2012 to 2013 … so this isn’t anything unusual. But it may help explain why you might have awakened congested this morning.  Of course, the worst of the tree pollen season is still to come – the peak usually occurs in April.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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