Does weather affect pollen?

This week’s weather question comes from Jake Moore of Phenix City, Alabama.

He wants to know: “Does the weather have any affect on pollen we get in a year?”

Absolutely. About two billion pounds of pollen are distributed through the atmosphere every year (that’s 10 pounds per person)! And weather plays a large role.

Sunny and warm conditions – which are favorable to be outdoors, are the most unfavorable for people sensitive to pollen. That’s because rainy days help wash away pollen.

For example, in 1995 here in Georgia we had a sunny, dry and warm spring – great for pollen but horrible for those allergic to it. The lack of rain and early warmth caused pollen levels measured in Atlanta to be 25 times higher than “extremely high.”

Wind also affects pollen levels. Breezy days help bring in pollen hundreds of miles away – from trees and grass that may not even be native to your area. But it is actually when winds are calm that pollen counts are at their highest.

Pollen counts peak outside between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.- when winds are usually their lightest.

If you have your own science or weather related question, email Meteorologist Carmen Rose at crose@wrbl.com.

She’ll then answer the question on air the following Wednesday.

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