Apr 3, 2024 - News

Raleigh's Spring pollen levels set a new record

Daily tree pollen counts in the Raleigh area
Data: N.C. Division of Air Quality; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Raleigh's pollen counts this past week hit record levels not seen in more than a decade, according to data collected by the state.

Why it matters: Triangle residents might have to get used to worsening pollen seasons in the coming years.

The big picture: Climate change and warmer springs are causing plants to produce higher concentrations of pollen for longer periods of time, Kelly Oten, an assistant professor and extension specialist at the N.C. State's College of Natural Resources, said last year.

  • Spring allergy season is now starting about 20 days earlier compared to 1990, and pollen concentrations have grown 20% nationwide over the same period, the New York Times reported.

Driving the news: The N.C. Division of Air Quality's pollen monitoring system reported tree pollen grain levels of 16,284 between 9am on March 31 and 9am on April 1.

  • That blew away the previous record of 10,995 on April 6, 2010.
  • The Division of Air Quality monitors pollen levels from a collection point in Raleigh between February and October.
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