Meteorologists across the D.C. area receive a daily email update with the pollen count for the preceding 24 hours. Chief Microbiologist Susan Kosisky or Health Technician Mariko Shigeto Marks from the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab in Ft. Meade always give us a thorough update on the main offenders in the air whether it is trees, weeds, grass or mold. This time of year it is typically trees and mold. The count we received this morning was the highest so far this year for trees in the very high range.
- April 20 Pollen Count
From Susan Kosisky,
"Despite the rain showers, our area tree species have put together some pretty high pollen counts. With the warm temps and breezes on Saturday, our tree count climbed to 1647 grains/cubic meter. We had a slight reprieve on Sunday, however, yesterday the trees unloaded. The yellowish-green film on the cars yesterday said it all. Our count with rising temps and breezes was 2359.11 grains/cubic meter which is VERY HIGH.
Oak pollen, which is very high, is the main contributor at 1840 grains/cubic meter. Ash, sycamore, sweet gum, pine, birch and beech are also adding to the count in a big way. This might have been the highest count we will see this tree season. Mold spores, loving the rain, also climbed considerably. Ascospores abound.
Tree pollen is VERY HIGH at 2359.11 grains/cubic meter. Grass pollen is LOW at 1.28 grains/cubic meter. Weed pollen is LOW at 0.64 grains/cubic meter.
Tree pollen is VERY HIGH at 2359.11 grains/cubic meter.
Grass pollen is LOW at 1.28 grains/cubic meter.
Weed pollen is LOW at 0.64 grains/cubic meter.
Mold spores are in the MODERATE range (NAB range) at 11,592.65 spores/cubic meter, which is high for local area mold spore counts."
As many of you could probably tell by the color of your car, sidewalks, roadways and just about everything else outside, the tree pollen is right around its peak. It typically peaks in the 3rd or 4th week of April, so we're almost in the clear. If you're allergy prone (like yours truly) be sure to take the necessary precautions.
- Take allergy medications
- Keep your home and car windows closed
- Shower or wash your hands and face soon after exercising outdoors
- Avoid going outside for a prolonged period of time on breezy days
- Wear sunglasses for protection from pollen getting in your eyes