Sep 20, 2022 - News

Richmond’s fall allergy season is getting worse

Illustration of a pattern of tissue boxes.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It's not your imagination — fall allergy season is getting worse.

Driving the news: Fall allergy season is in full swing, and it's been longer and more intense in recent years, Times-Dispatch meteorologist Sean Sublette reports.

What's happening: Climate change has made the growing season longer, meaning there's more pollen in the air and it's around for longer.

  • In Richmond, the growing season is 28 days longer today than it was in 1970, according to Climate Central, a nonprofit research and journalism organization.
a chart those shows the growing season getting longer by 28 days since 1970
Image: Climate Central

Blame the ragweed. It's the most common type of fall pollen allergy, the worst pollen offender, and it grows extremely well in Virginia, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

By the numbers: Richmond is the fourth-worst city in the country for allergies, per the foundation.

  • The city ranks at No. 2 for spring allergies and No. 10 for fall allergies.

The bottom line: It could be worse. It could be spring, but for now, fall allergy season is expected to stick around until well into October, Sublette writes. So stock up on tissues.


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