Extremely high pollen counts come early this year

We have all enjoyed the spring-like temperatures of the past week with thermometers reaching into the 70s. The warmer days have caused trees to bud and daffodils are blooming. Many people who are tired of the wintry cold are hoping for an early spring. Another result of the warmer weather and the budding of plants is an early increase in the pollen count in our area. Each day the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic reports the pollen count for the metropolitan area. This week the count soared into the extremely high range. The count on Tuesday was 703. Any count above 500 is considered extremely high. Feb. 22 is an early date for such high counts in our area. In fact the highest count during February 2010 was 33, which was recorded on Feb. 22, 2010. In 2010 the metro area pollen count did not reach three-digits until March 9 when the count was 303.
According to the clinic's report, the major pollens present in the air Tuesday were alder, cedar and elm. While the pollen count may go up and down for the next couple of weeks -- depending on weather conditions like rainfall -- we can expect soaring counts of pollen from mid-March throughout April and continuing through June. The high counts during March and April are primarily tree pollens; then, during April, May and into June, grass pollens fill the air. Enjoy the spring-like temperatures. And for all allergy sufferers, begin gearing up for the dreaded spring pollen season. It's already here.

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