Do you suffer from itchy eyes and runny nose? Does your allergy seem worse this spring? You are not alone. And you can blame Texas.
According to Paul Schlatter, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boulder, a combination of strong winds blowing in from the south and southeast and a lack of rainfall could increase the number of allergens in the Denver subway station compared to what would normally be found there. time of year.
“I would bet that was what happened last week,” Schlatter said. “We always get those kinds of allergens at some point in the spring. “What was unusual was how strong the wind was.”
By April 25, NWS Boulder had issued seven strong wind warnings in April. Although the service does not keep year-on-year statistics on wind trends, Schlatter says he would estimate that it only issues one strong wind warning on average in April.
“We can not remember a year where we had so many warnings of strong winds … all within a few weeks in April,” Schlatter said.
In general, he notes, strong winds from any direction will bring allergens into the area. Combine these winds with a little rain or snow and you have a recipe for allergy disaster. This is because precipitation flushes allergens out of the air, giving a respite after each storm. Unfortunately for Denver, there has only been one-hundredth (0.01) inch of rain so far in April, according to preliminary monthly climate data from the National Weather Service. And it has not snowed at all.
“Allergens just stay in the air with nothing to wash them out,” Schlatter explains.
Windy conditions also increase the risk of fires. The National Weather Service issued a red flag fire warning in the Denver area as late as April 22nd. The service issues red flag warnings when an area experiences low relative humidity, high winds and dry conditions.
And even when the annoying winds from the south and southeast subside, Schlatter says winds from the west could bring a similar amount of allergens into the coming month or so, as the evergreen trees in the mountains release pollen when it gets warmer.
“It just takes a little bit of westerly wind to bring allergens into our area,” he adds. “This is usually how we get a wood allergy; it’s coming.”
If you can not stay inside on windy days, you need to have allergy medicine and tissues at hand.