Medical experts are saying that while the Polar Vortex menace may be over, its frigid loins may have contributed to an even greater demonic spawn: the Pollen Vortex. Get the Kleenex ready. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Climate Change is the Cause
Because of the abnormally frigid winter, trees, flowers, grasses, and other plants haven’t had a chance to flower in their distinct allergy seasons.
…allergy seasons are usually separated into distinct seasons, with trees causing problems in the spring and grasses causing issues in the summer.
2. Sudden Warmth May Make All Plants Bloom at Once
With a sudden spurt of warmth, plants may forego their distinct season and begin to blossom all at once—wreaking havoc on allergy sufferers.
3. Allergy Sufferers Might be Exposed to New Plants
Warmer climes also means plants historically found in southern regions may move farther north and expose allergy sufferers to pollens they may have never experienced before.
Climate change will allow certain allergen-producing plant species to move into new areas, and wind blown dust, carrying pollens and molds from outside of the United States, could expose people to allergens they had not previously contacted. Exposure to more potent concentrations of pollen and mold may make current non-sufferers more likely to develop allergic symptoms.
4. Some Plants Already Have a Longer Allergy Season
As you can see in the chart above, the Pollen Vortex has been in the making for a while. Plants commonly associated with allergies, like ragweed, have already grown exponentially in flowering seasons. The chart above graphs ragweed growth from 1995-2011. While Oklahoma may be getting too hot for ragweed, Canadians are in for more sneezes.
5. Get Ready
You can check your city’s pollen forecast here.