Sunday, December 5, 2021

Sneezing? As Temperatures Climb, So Does Pollen Count

— The pleasant, warm temperatures felt on Monday may have one downside — pollen.

After a spring-like weekend, temperatures will reach the 70s again on Monday, and the weather will remain similarly warm all week.

According to WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson, the warmer temperatures that will take over this week may increase the potency — and length — of pollen season.

“If you’re sneezing, the pollen count may explain why,” Johnson said. “Monday’s count is in the high category, and the guilty parties are trees, specifically poplar/cottonwood and elm trees. Things are leafing up about two to three weeks early around here due to the warmth, and that may portend a longer allergy season.”

Anyone hoping for a return to winter temperatures will have to wait for at least the next week, as highs are expected to reach the mid 60s — usually higher — through Saturday.​

“We can thank high pressure for bringing us these dry and warm conditions,” said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

Aside from Tuesday, which will likely be in the mid-60s, daytime highs will climb into the low to mid-70s each day as lows hover in the 40s. There will be some cloud cover on Tuesday, said Gardner, but conditions will stay mostly sunny.

Rain is possible late Tuesday into Wednesday as a cold front pushes through the state, but totals won’t be significant. “What we’re expecting on Wednesday is a trace to two-tenths of an inch,” said Gardner. The chance for rain will be greatest midday.

On Friday, temperatures will be the warmest as they push toward 80 degrees. “With a high of 77, we probably won’t beat our record of 81, but we will be a full 20 degrees above our normal temperatures,” said Gardner.

Another round of precipitation is possible later in the week as well, although the timing on that isn’t quite as firm. Temperatures will drop on Saturday and Sunday, but temperatures will still be well above normal.

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