Individuals with allergic reactions already know this, however pollen ranges are spiking sooner than typical.
January has delivered an inflow of sufferers to Farnaz Tabatabaian, an allergist-immunologist on the USF Morsani School of Drugs. Often, pollen ranges this excessive don’t arrive till the top of January.
Blame a warmer-than-usual finish to 2021, Tabatabaian says. Hotter climate, together with record-breaking warmth in the course of December, accelerates the discharge of pollen from timber. A cool December in 2020 delayed the height of final 12 months’s allergy season till March.
An early allergy season often brings an occasional respite, although, as a result of chilly fronts sweep by way of and quickly clear the air. Anticipate one this weekend.
Temperatures are anticipated to drop into the 40s Saturday and Sunday in Tampa Bay, with some areas in Pasco and Hernando counties dipping into the higher 30s. Pollen at “medium” ranges of 5.8 then 7.2 is forecast, based on Pollen.com. The size runs from 0 to 12.
This break from the sneezing and sniffles can be sandwiched between days with reasonably excessive ranges of pollen. The forecast for Friday is 9.1 and Monday will return to eight.1, each ranges excessive sufficient to trigger vital signs for individuals who wrestle with allergic reactions.
“The chilly fronts in January actually sluggish it down,” Tabatabaian stated. “However it additionally creates extra wind that comes and spreads these items round.”
The hotter climate creates a pollen forecast a lot larger than areas to the north. 5-day forecasts for Boston, New York Metropolis and Chicago are all at .1 every day, primarily no pollen in any respect, and even Atlanta and Charlotte are forecast to have ranges round 2.4.
The worst days up to now in Tampa Bay got here early — Jan. 8 and Jan. 11. Pollen ranges reached a “excessive” 10 each days.
“How early it comes right here actually is dependent upon how heat December is,” Tabatabaian stated. “And we simply skilled a heat one.”
With the early allergy season overlapping with the rise of the omicron variant, she inspired folks to study the distinction between the 2.
A extreme headache or fever aren’t signs of allergic reactions, Tabatabaian says, and will sign one thing extra severe, resembling COVID -19. Pollen’s most typical signs are itchy eyes, a runny nostril and sneezing.
The primary supply of pollen throughout Tampa Bay is oak timber, adopted by cypress, cedar, Australian pine, ash and elm.
Pollen arrived shortly however it hasn’t but unfold so far as it can, Tabatabaian stated, so she suggested allergy victims to begin taking over-the-counter medicine now.
“We nonetheless haven’t hit our peak, which often is available in February or March,” she stated. “It’ll solely worsen from right here.”