MARYLAND – You might find yourself saying “Bless you!” more often when walking around town, according to AccuWeather’s 2022 Spring Allergy Forecast, giving Marylanders an idea of what to expect when spring arrives in full bloom.
For many, spring is a welcome time of rebirth for many. But we promise you, the budding trees, blooming flowers, and fresh green grass promise only misery, sneezes, and pain for seasonal allergy sufferers.
AccuWeather said in its recently released forecast that tree and grass pollen levels will be average for much of Maryland. However, high levels of weed pollen will dominate Maryland and the entire East Coast, as increased humidity and temperature create a favorable environment for weed growth.
Pollen from trees, grasses and weeds will likely be about normal in many parts of the country, but there are exceptions. According to AccuWeather:
Moderate temperatures and multiple rains in the Southeast are likely to make tree pollen “worse than anywhere in the country,” especially in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Allergy sufferers in the Pacific Northwest can expect a tough season. Moderate temperatures and rainfall in April will create ideal conditions for tree growth, but also pollen, the private weather service said.
In the northeast, regular rainfall expected in April and early May, delaying pollen growth, should lead to an average pollen season for Appalachian trees in Maine.
Worsening drought conditions will likely make life difficult in western states except for allergy sufferers. Grass growth and therefore pollen levels are hampered by the lack of precipitation and warm air.
In the Central Rockies, grass pollen levels are expected to be about normal with tropical humidity and monsoons expected in late spring and early summer.
Grass pollen should not be a problem in the northeast. With hot weather and sporadic rain in the first few months, the grass won’t grow as fast.
But for much of the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys, grass pollen could be a huge concern from April through June, according to forecasts.
Weed pollen is likely to be a problem along the east coast as increased temperatures and humidity create an ideal environment for weed growth.
Specifically: expect increased weed pollen levels during the height of summer in the mid-Atlantic states and from late summer to early fall in the Northeast. East.
Weed pollen is not expected to be a big problem in western states due to drought conditions, according to forecasts. But as the predicted drier weather moves into the northwest in August, weed pollen levels could be average or below average.
Also expect weed pollen to proliferate during the monsoon season, which begins in mid-June in the Four Corners region of southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, northeast Arizona and northwest New Mexico.
Check your daily allergy forecast
Many sites on the Internet offer weekly or even daily allergy predictions. An allergy tracker from pollen.com gives you an overview of current allergy predictions by city and metropolitan area.
Other popular allergy trackers include The Weather Channel and the National Allergy Bureau.
The A to Z of allergies
Confused by seasonal allergy lingo? Here are some key words to watch out for when you find yourself with a case of spring sniffles:
- Allergen: A substance that triggers an allergic reaction in a person who is sensitive to it.
- Antihistamine: A drug that prevents symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, and itchy and runny nose.
- Decongestant: Medication that shrinks swollen nasal tissue to relieve symptoms such as swelling, congestion, and mucus.
- Hay fever: An allergic reaction to pollen from ragweed, grasses and other plants whose pollen is carried by the wind.
- Neti Pot: A device that looks like a small teapot, a neti pot is used for nasal irrigation. In other words, it is used to clear mucus and other debris from your nose and sinuses to improve breathing.
- Pollen and Mold Count: A measure of the amounts of allergens in the air. Counts are typically reported for mold spores and three types of pollen: grasses, trees, and weeds.
Prevent allergic reactions
Here are some suggestions for nipping allergies in the literal bud, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go out is after a good rain, which helps remove pollen from the air.
- Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening tasks that stir up allergens.
- Take off any clothes you’ve worn outside and take a shower to rinse the pollen from your skin and hair.
- Do not hang your laundry outside: pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
- Wear a pollen mask if you do outdoor chores.
If the pollen count is high
Here are some other things you can do to avoid an allergic reaction:
- Check the allergy forecast for your city.
- If a high pollen count is expected, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms appear.
- Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
- Avoid outdoor activities early in the morning when pollen counts are highest.