Pollen levels highest since 2003

From staff reportsApril 7, 2010 

It isn't just your imagination - pollen levels this spring are among the highest in years.

The state's Division of Air Quality reports today that pollen counts in Raleigh were 3,099 grains per cubic meter on Tuesday -- the highest levels since 2003. But consider yourself lucky not to be living in Winston-Salem.

There, the counts on Tuesday reached 9,632 grains per cubic meter.

Much of the visible pollen is the yellow dust of loblolly pines and oaks.

The trees are excessively productive this year for several reasons, including sudden warm temperatures last week after a cold winter and cool early spring. Add a few rainless days and the March winds, and the result is a yellow blizzard.

“Weather forecasters are calling for rain later this week, so that should knock the pollen levels down to more normal levels,” said Keith Overcash,director for the Division of Air Quality. “Hopefully the worst of the pollen will be over by then.”

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