FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — If you’re already feeling that dreaded tingle in your sinuses, I’ve got bad news about the days ahead.
On Wednesday, the Forsyth County Office of Environment Assistance and Protection issued its daily pollen report with expectations that tree pollen will spike later in the week.
On Tuesday, pollen from trees was “moderate,” grasses was “low” and weeds was “absent.” Tree pollen measured in at 32, out of a possible 100, on the pollen rating scale.
With a dry night Tuesday into Wednesday and overnight temperatures above freezing, conditions were much better for pollen production, and the Forsyth County EAP measured tree pollen in the “high” range with 54 on the pollen rating scale.
Much of Wednesday’s tree pollen, 38%, is from oak trees, according to the Forsyth County EAP, but a variety of other kinds is mixed in as well, including cedar/juniper (11%), birch (8%), elm (7%), sweet gum (7%), chestnut (6%), maple (6%), pine (5%) and other trees (5%).
Rain showers moved in Wednesday, which helped to douse the pollen problem, but, by Friday, it’ll be back.
“Precipitation is not expected to continue into the night, and with temperatures in the mid to high 70s tomorrow, tree pollen should continue to rise within the HIGH range,” the Forsyth County EAP reported. “Friday should see even higher daytime temperatures, and breezy conditions created by southwesterly winds will allow tree pollen to reach the VERY HIGH range.”
Friday night and early Saturday, we may see some more light rain which could help to dampen pollen production but likely not enough to push levels below the “high” range.
Pollen.com, which is run by IQVIA, a North Carolina-based company specializing in healthcare data, identifies oak as severely allergenic.
“They shed considerable amounts of pollen, which presents a significant challenge to allergy sufferers,” the site says on its overview of oak allergens. “The pollen is commonly allergenic, and may cause severe reactions.”
What you may not know is that oak is one genus—Quercus—that includes a number of different tree species. Pollen.com lists out 50 species, and you can only get tested for allergies to less than half of those species.