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How does rain affect pollen counts?

Flowers in Riverside Park.
Flowers in Riverside Park.(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 11:30 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Pollen counts will be high the next few days as dry weather again settles into the Wiregrass.

Just how does our changing weather patterns affect pollen count? It may not work the way you think. Plenty of rain will typically cause plants to sprout and thrive, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get more pollen from them.

A dry spell is usually the culprit for higher particle counts. Whenever the air is dry, there’s less moisture available to weigh down those pesky grains if the wind is blowing. Allergy sufferers will really sense the pollen on drier days.

Now let’s think about rain. Steady but light rain showers are usually what is needed to keep that pollen level in check. Rain washes the pollen away, keeping it out of the air and out of your nose.

For those allergic to grass, weeds, dust and mold, rain can exacerbate the effects of pollen. When those particular counts are high, drops can hit the ground and bust open clumps of allergens into smaller pieces. Wind can quickly carry these into the air and cause your allergies to spike during those moderate to heavy rain showers.

Rain chances for the wiregrass will increase later Wednesday with smaller chances for the weekend, so any grass and weed pollen in the air have the potential to be washed away given the rain stays generally light. Pollen counts are expected to decrease slightly through Thursday and Friday (4-15-21 & 4-16-21).

Pollen counts, source (Pollen.com)
Pollen counts, source (Pollen.com)(Pollen.com)

Though it might seem commonplace, your best line of defense is taking an effective allergy medication. Of course, visiting an allergist can help pinpoint what exactly it is that’s causing your seasonal suffering.

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