What to know about the pollen season

The Dreaded Pollen Film!
The Dreaded Pollen Film!

I received the below cartoon sent to me on Click2Pins yesterday and, I have to admit, it made me laugh and cringe:

The Dreaded Film!

Anyone who hoped that our February freeze would stop the pollen this spring is having a little wishful thinking! I spoke to Iris at the Houston Arboretum who told me that while Oak is not as bad yet, it’s on the way and will last through mid-May, at least.

Right now, our overall pollen count is Medium (via Pollen.com), but tree pollen counts are heavy from pine, hackberry and ash:

Tree is Heavy
Medium pollen counts for us, but tree is heavy

Of course, the freeze did stop everything in its tracks for a moment, but the pollen season itself continues to start earlier and last longer because usually we don’t have arctic freezes like this year:

Longer growing season means more time for pollen! Courtesy Climate Central

The Future Looks Itchy!

As we go forward, climate change will account for more carbon dioxide which will increase the growing season (and pollen season) even more. In fact, predictions are that pollen will double by 2085:

More Pollen Coming! courtesy Climate Central

A thorough study of this has just been completed by the National Academy of Sciences. I’ll unravel that next week.

Frank

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About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.