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Pollen blows in from the west

From Staff Reports
March 18, 2013 at 11 p.m.


If you can write your name in the pollen on your car hood, or if you feel like your allergies are worse than normal - it's not your imagination. And it's not entirely the fault of trees blooming across East Texas.

"Your biggest problem is coming from the west," said Mike Pigott, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, "The prevailing winds out of the west are blowing (the pollen) your way."

In fact, the entire southern United States - from Arizona to Alabama - is awash in pollen, he said on Monday.

"It is mainly a result of warmer-than-average temperatures for the start of spring, especially west," Pigott said. "So far in March, the temperatures in West Texas have been three degrees above normal, which has led to trees blooming out early."

In East Texas, temperatures so far have been just one degree above normal. But the pollen count Monday was high in Longview and across the region, and the forecast called for more of the same today and Wednesday.

Tree pollen is the main culprit right now, but ragweed and grass pollens are not far behind as allergy season gets into full swing. Grass pollen was moderate Monday in Longview.

Cooler weather entering the region tonight should begin to bring fresher air.

"It won't be a clean sweep of the pollen," Pigott said. But a stronger front predicted for the coming weekend was expected to bring a fresh air mass from Canada, "from areas that have not been warmer than normal and will not be pollen-laden," he said.

So breathe easy.

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