Pollen counts to rise this week in Selma

Published 7:16pm Monday, March 11, 2013

March is currently acting like a lion and in coming weeks will roll out like a lamb — but could this month’s rainy weather actually keep Selma residents healthier?

According to Kevin Laws, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham, the rainy weather the area is seeing now will keep pollen and allergen levels down.

Typically, Laws said, there are lots of systems moving through and the pollen gets much worse, for instance when the pollen starts to build up on cars— that is later in the spring.

“It just so happens that this next system that is coming through is going to stagnate the air for a couple of days, and the count is going to go much higher,” Laws said, explaining that the weather system in combination with the fact that the winter has been mild and wet, will cause germination and pollen to come out earlier than normal.

Stagnate air gives pollen and spores the opportunity to use dry air and wind as a transport, carrying pollen around and making it land and settle in areas like porches, cars and even noses. Rainy weather and storms wash pollen down into storm drains and keeps it from being airborne.

Tuesday and Wednesday the pollen count for Selma will reach a level 10 on a 12-point severity scale.

Laws said it is tough to say what the whole season will look like, though some are forecasting this pollen season will be worse than normal, and said it is calculated on day-to-day, along with the weather.

“We just will really just depend on the independent weather patterns as we see fit,” Laws said.  “So the more high pressure that builds in and the cold front stagnant weather pattern, we will be able to determine the severity of the pollen.”

For now in the early part of March, mostly trees are producing pollen — weed and grass pollens will come throughout the latter part of the month as well as in April and May.

This week’s most predominant pollens are from Junipers, Elms and Maple trees.


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