Experts Say Summer Weather To Blame For Late Season Allergy Surge

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

If you've felt stuffy the past few days or have noticed your allergies flare up recently, health experts say the summer weather is probably behind it.

Officials say thanks to a wet May and June, weeds in the Grand Valley have thrived.

"There are a lot more weeds and the weeds are much bigger than they have been in other years," said Mike Brygger, Mesa County Air Quality Specialist. "So they're going to generate more pollen."

And they say thanks to a few dry between then and now, wildfires have been pouring smoke into the air.

"The smoke from fires west and northwest of town can actually make it into the Valley and cause our particulate count to increase," said Brygger.

Mix the two together, and Brygger says it can spell bad news for people with allergies.

"Some people are very sensitive to pollen or very sensitive to smoke," said Brygger.

Officials say while the overall air quality is still good, pollen counts are up from where they were last year -- and we're now starting to move into the peak of weed pollen season.

"We're solidly into the moderate category," said Brygger. "And we've seen it slowly creep up the last couple of weeks."

Officials say westerly winds continue to blow smoke into the area, making the Valley skies look hazy on certain days.

"When the visibility isn't as crisp and clear as it is on the days after it rains, for example, the air quality is not as good," said Brygger.

Brygger says at night, inversions in the air will trap that smoke and pollen closer to the ground, where it will stay until the sun makes the inversion go away the next day.

"You're exposed to higher concentrations of pollen in the morning," said Brygger. "And that may be why you're affected when you're on your way to work."

Officials say if you suffer from allergies, there are several things you can do to make the fall season more pleasant:
-Stay inside during the early morning hours, when pollen concentrations are the highest
-Shower anytime after you've been near pollen or heavy smoke, so as not to release a lot particles inside your home
-Take allergy medicine and consult with your doctor on the best course of action

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