MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Who’s ready for the pollen levels to soar? We’re guessing the answer is quite obvious: nobody.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what will happen as we progress through the first week of September.
Every year during the mid-August to mid-October period the pollen levels -- namely ragweed -- rise across the Southeast. That of course includes us in Central and South Alabama. So it shouldn’t necessarily comes a surprise that ragweed levels are on their way up.
The problem this year is we haven’t seen elevated ragweed counts yet. That means we will be going from virtually no ragweed in late August to very to extremely high ragweed amounts before Labor Day weekend even gets underway.
So there’s not going to be any adjustment period for those who suffer from ragweed allergies. It’ll go from zero to ten in a matter of days.
We can thank the entirely dry, rain-free and very hot forecast for the expected surge in ragweed levels by the end of the week. With many of us likely to be outside enjoying Labor Day activities this weekend, it’ll be important to take precautions if you are a known sufferer of ragweed pollen. Even if you aren’t sure whether or not you struggle with ragweed, it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious in case you are around someone who does.
This includes things like...
- Avoiding the outdoors as much as possible between roughly 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Spending time in the air conditioning
- Washing clothes as soon as you are done wearing them outdoors
- Leaving shoes outside
- Having medications ready to use
- Vacuuming the house every week with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter
- Avoiding certain foods and herbs with proteins similar to those found in ragweed
With upwards of 23 million people suffering from allergies caused by the different types of ragweed -- referred to as hay fever -- it’s a very important aspect of the daily weather forecast during the late summer and early fall days.
If you’re hoping for low ragweed levels, look for days with rain in the forecast. Also consider venturing outdoors later in the day, if possible.
With the temperatures we see in Central Alabama, it’s unlikely the ragweed season will end before mid-October. That may be optimistic as it can last into November if we stay warmer and avoid chilly temperatures in October.