Sneezin' Season Kicks In

The dreaded hay fever season is here. Tony has the drippy nose and watery eye details.

Hay Fever Alert

One look at the calendar and it is clear the inevitable is here. Ladies and Gents, the 2011 pollen season is upon us.

By way of historical background, the pollen season runs from now through September with peaks in April (tree pollens), June (grass pollens) and September (ragweed pollens). If I had to rate the three on a sheer discomfort level, ragweed ranks number 1, trees a distant second and grass a far removed third.

Our tree pollen season began quietly in late February as that first warm spell coaxed trees out of their winter hibernation. Since then occasional spells of mild weather have been quickly chocked off by a new cold and damp spell. That means trees have been holding back awaiting a true spring breakout.

And that breakout starts on Wednesday with afternoon highs heading into the balmy 60s with ample sunshine.

By Thursday through Sunday, we will be caught in the throes of a persistent southwesterly flow of warm and increasingly humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. In the sticky air, timing any showers or thunderstorms will be a day to day proposition. Still one absolutely perfect forecast I can make right now is this; namely, warmer overnight temperatures will turn our oak and maple trees into pollinating assembly lines. That means day to day explosions of tree pollen will send tree pollen levels into the stratosphere.

I would add that the yellow fallout of oak pollen which marks the peak of the tree pollen season is not likely to occur until after tax day.

So tree pollen sufferers, take that doctor prescribed antihistamine before you go to bed at nights, keep the windows closed in both your car and home and damp mop your head once you come in from the outdoors.

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