Seattle's longer allergy season, in one chart
We told you last month that our local allergy season was getting worse — now, we have additional numbers to back that up.
By the numbers: Allergy season in Seattle increased by 17 days on average between 1970 and 2021, per an analysis from Climate Central, a nonprofit climate news organization.
- That's based on the number of days between the last day of freezing temperatures each spring and the first day of freezing temperatures each fall — essentially, the annual window when seasonal allergy sufferers are most likely to rely on their antihistamine of choice to get by each day.
Why it matters: The lengthening allergy season is tied to climate change, per Climate Central, with big health ramifications for the roughly one-quarter of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies — and for respiratory health more broadly.
The big picture: Allergy season increased by 15 days on average between 1970 and 2021 across about 200 U.S. cities.
What's next: Ongoing climate change means further deviation from what was once considered the norm.
- "We do expect that areas that haven't previously had substantial pollen seasons will potentially start to experience pollen seasons," William Anderegg, director of the Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy at the University of Utah, told Axios.
The bottom line: If you feel like seasonal allergies are suddenly a bigger part of your life, the data suggests you're right.
Go deeper: Where allergy season is getting longer
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