Ragweed Set to Shake up Hay Fever Season

First came the tree pollens of spring then the grasses pollens and molds of summer. Now it is time for the most dreaded pollen season of them all. Ragweed is here! Tony has the "Sneezin' Season" update.


Ragweed Season Arrives
The hay fever season is hitting its peak here in late August as the most allergenic pollen of them all, Ragweed is going to town.
Now and for the next 4 weeks, those who suffer from weed induced allergic rhinitis (clinical for hay fever) will feel the drippy nosed, itchy eyed, scratchy throated clutch of ragweed.
Warm days after cool nights will be the worst on ragweed haters while cloudy, damp cool days will be the best. Watch out for windy, dry and sunny days after it rains to be especially problematic.
The initial traces of ragweed actually began showing up while I was in Alaska in early August. But the first "true" surge in weed pollen came on this week as cooler overnight temperatures turned the ragweed into pollen producing conveyor belts.
As we head toward the next to last weekend of August, a mini shot of late season heat will do little to slow the pollination process, though the warmer overnight lows will keep the ragweed pollen level in the “just plain” moderate to high zone.
With any luck, we can get some much needed shower activity to help clean the air a bit early next week.
Still the prospects of a Southeast US hurricane/tropical storm in Isaac will help to keep our air hot and muggy later next week into Labor Day weekend. That means the barbarically high ragweed levels this year will have to wait for that first shot of cooler September air to follow after the Labor Day weekend.
Since ragweed has a 6 week period to pollinate, and since we are now 2 weeks into the season, like clock-work pollen levels will taper off by the first of fall. The first frosts of the season will put the final kibosh on ragweed pollination.
Given the very dry, hot June we had,  ragweed had a slower than normal growing period this year. Still, prolific July rains (7”-8”) did promote enough ragweed growth to assure us of high pollen levels for the 4 week period centered around Labor Day.
There is also the notion that dry weather "stresses" ragweed into producing more pollen than during a normal wet summer. I believe this is true as long as the dry weather continues all summer long, not like this year.
Since I know of several people like me fighting summer bronchitis, I offer this time tested way to distinguish between allergies and a cold/bronchitis; namely, if your mucus/phlegm comes out clear, you can bet it is related to allergies. If it comes out, like mine did, a thick deep greenish-yellow or even reddish yellow, then bronchitis or a cold or even pneumonia are likely to blame.
I will be giving daily ragweed updates at 5:58 at the end of your 5:30 edition and beginning of Newschannel 3 at 6.
I will add to this blog later this week.
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