While temperatures are still cold this weekend, there is a big warm-up coming over the next week thanks to high pressure pushing offshore and the return flow of warm air. This pattern will likely bring at least one 60-degree day and the feeling of spring to parts of the region.

Most of the area has seen adequate moisture since early December and as long as this continues, it will set us up well for the growing season ahead. While lawns are still weeks away from greening, the warm weather on the horizon means pollen season is about to begin, so get your tissues ready and check your allergy medication.

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In general, pollen season has been beginning earlier in the spring and lasting longer into the fall. A year ago, the deep snow and cold March prevented many of the trees from beginning their growth period until April. This meant a late start for allergy sufferers. This year, we are going to more than make up for this.

With high temperatures expected to reach 10 to 20 degrees above average in the coming week, the early trees and shrubs will see their buds opening and the pollen season begins.  This is going to be true especially where the snow is gone and the ground is no longer frozen.

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Each week, the mix of pollen in the air will change as various trees, shrubs and grasses come into bloom. The most noticeable pollen is the yellow pine pollen. The pine pollen grains are very large and therefore you can see it all over things like your car and, if you leave your windows open, on your furniture. Pine pollen typically occurs later in May and early June so we have some time still.

Pollen is measured by counting the number of pollen grains in a cubic meter of air. The more grains in that space, the greater the chance you will suffer if you are allergic to the particular allergen in the air.


When it becomes breezy, with a lack of rain for several days, the pollen count grows. Rainfall captures the pollen grains and brings them to the ground where they won’t create as much of an issue.

On Wednesday, cedar and juniper pollen are going to start creeping up. Willows are a very early-blooming tree and their pollen will also start showing up shortly. Maples, ash, and eventually oaks come into the mix throughout spring.

Snow still can’t be ruled out of the long-range forecast, but with pollen season underway, winter’s final folly is close at hand.

You can follow my forecasts here and on Twitter @growingwisdom

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