WASHINGTON — The 70s and 80s in the forecast have many people around the DMV excited about the warmer weather, but it will come at a cost: More pollen.
The weather over the next few days could actually make things worse for allergy sufferers.
Here's the set up :
1) A series of warm days
When there is a string of warm days with highs in the 70s or warmer in March, trees are sensitive to this and release pollen.
Rain and high humidity typically diminish pollen count. The pollen particles stay wet and aren't able to break up as easily.
But once the sun comes out and the winds kick up they will be able to transport more easily.
We have a chance for rain Friday morning, but as the weather dries out Friday afternoon, pollen will have a better chance of getting around.
The rain should end Friday around 7 a.m. By 11 a.m. clouds will clear and sunshine will take over.
Winds Friday afternoon will also gust up to 40 to 50 mph, more than enough to spread pollen.
April is the worst month for tree pollen in the D.C. region. May is the worst month for grass pollen in D.C.
Susan Kosisky, the chief microbiologist at the Army's Centralized Allergen Extract Lab, said some tree species may start pollinating early.
"If it warms up, we'll start seeing another early influx of pollen producers," Kosisky said. "As the weather goes, the pollen blows."
Kosisky said the warm spell could make oak pollen come out in March, when it normally holds off until April.
She said wearing a mask may help keep some of the pollen out, but our VERIFY team found that you need to wash your mask to make sure it remains effective.
Kosisky said wearing sunglasses on windy days, with high pollen count, may reduce the amount of pollen coming in contact with eyes.