We're back! Getting a lot of comments from people wanting to know what's been causing their hay fever over the past couple of weeks. It's not grass pollen, as the grasses won't start flowering in a serious way for another few weeks. So that's the reason we are currently forecasting low grass pollen into the future. Today's picture shows some of the common pollen types we saw today - from the weeds plantain and daisy and the trees birch and pine. Cypress pollen was there as well. As birch and plantain pollen can both cause hay fever, these plants are high on my list of likely culprits for any allergies at the moment. But discuss your symptoms with a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Winter is over and spring is finally here. That means that the weather is getting warmer and the flowers will soon be in bloom. The spring sun has woken us up too and we'll start counting again later this month. Had a look to see what was in the air today and it was mostly tree pollen, particularly ash and alder. But there was some pine pollen too like this one, which was yawning at the time.
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Great Scott, its Christmas tree pollen!
The Melbourne Pollen Count wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe 2014.
Based on the date of the season's first high grass pollen day, on October 21 I said we could expect about 25 high and extreme grass pollen days by December 31. A high day is one with an average of 50 or more grass pollen grains per cubic metre of air and our extreme days occur when the count is over 100.
So far this season there have been nine high days and one extreme grass pollen day. By the same time last year there had been ten high and six extreme pollen days.
The dotted line in today's graph shows the average daily grass pollen count from 1996 onwards. November is clearly our worst month with the daily count mostly in the red zone (high and extreme). The solid line is this year's count and it's mostly in the blue low zone.
Thanks to good winter and spring rains, it's been a good season for grass growth. The question is, why hasn't it been a far worse hay fever season?
It's no secret that November has been pretty cool. And in Melbourne that means southerly winds.
The pastures where our grass pollen mostly comes from are to our north and west. Carrying that grass pollen into Melbourne needs warmer north/north-westerly winds. So we've had the wrong sorts of wind this year for a bad hay fever season.
The other thing today's graph shows is that the season really starts to tail off in December.
With luck it'll all be over by Christmas.