Pollen rising earlier than normal this year

Tree pollen already climbing
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 11:23 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As we transition from early to middle February we are already seeing pollen levels rise up the chart. In a typical year we don’t see pollen counts rise to a truly noticeably high level until the tail end of February, if not early March.

2022 certainly had some other plans in mind. Tree pollen has already risen into the “medium” category across Central Alabama as cedar and juniper counts sit higher than where they should be.

Pollen levels reached the "medium" category on Thursday.
Pollen levels reached the "medium" category on Thursday.(WSFA 12 News)

Now it isn’t unheard of by any means to have pollen during the winter months in Alabama. It is a bit unusual, though, to have pollen levels as high as they are at this point in the year.

So if you’ve been suffering lately from allergies, feel free to blame juniper and cedar tree pollen.

As the year progresses and we get into spring the tree pollen will likely worsen and rise further up the chart. March, April and early May is the period to be weary of tree-related allergies.

The types of pollen and when they peak in Alabama.
The types of pollen and when they peak in Alabama.(WSFA 12 News)

Once we get to May we transition into grass and weed pollen season. Both of those are at their worst between mid-May and late September. Similar to what we’re experiencing now with the tree pollen, both grass pollen and weed pollen can rise to unusually high levels outside of their main peak periods.

If you do find yourself suffering from juniper and cedar pollen, there are some things you can do. Those include things like...

  • Avoiding the outdoors -- especially near trees that trigger your allergies -- as much as possible between roughly 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Getting rid of any trigger trees on your property
  • Washing clothes as soon as you are done wearing them outdoors
  • Leaving shoes outside
  • Having medications ready to use -- take them before pollen counts get excessively high to prepare your body to combat the pollen
  • Vacuuming the house every week with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter
Pollen will be in the "medium" category through next week.
Pollen will be in the "medium" category through next week.(WSFA 12 News)

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