North Georgia could be in for some pollen relief when a system of showers makes its way through the state.
The pollen count reached new heights over the weekend, far surpassing the highest count recorded during peak pollen season last year. Sunday’s count was just below 9,000 pollen particles per cubic meter of air, according to Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, the organization that tracks the daily pollen count.
In 2019, Atlanta topped out with a pollen count of 6,575 on April 13. A count of 8,918 Sunday was the second-highest recorded in the past 30 years, according to the allergy organization.
Pollen is again sky-high Monday with a count of 7,113. Trees like oak, pine, mulberry, sweet gum and sycamore are the top contributors, and mold activity is also in the extremely high range.
Rain could help to wash some of the pollen out of the air, but it’s not expected to arrive until Tuesday, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan said.
“As we head through the next couple of days, we’re going to see the chance of rain spreading into North Georgia,” he said. “Not yet, though. It’s dry this morning.”
A 10% chance of rain in the forecast Monday likely won’t do much to knock out the pollen. Monahan said it may look like rain to the west of Georgia is headed this way, but the air is dry underneath the clouds, and humidity is below 50% for much of the region.
“That is just not going to let that rain reach the ground,” he said. “A sprinkle or two, yes, that is possible today, but for the most part we are waiting till tomorrow for that rain to move in.”
Temperatures are comfortable to start Monday in the 50s and 60s. Monahan said a light jacket may be warranted in the morning, but short sleeves and sunglasses are all that’s needed this afternoon.
With afternoon highs in the mid-70s and a mix of sun and clouds, Monahan said Monday is “one of the best days to get outside.” He is rating conditions a four out of five for the ability to enjoy the fresh, if pollen-filled, air.
Tuesday, however, “is going to be one of those inside days,” he said.
The same system that brought severe weather to the middle part of the country is headed for Georgia, he said. Clouds should begin to fill the sky overnight before showers start up Tuesday morning.
Rain chances will increase to 90% through the day on Tuesday, according to Channel 2.
Monahan said while there is a risk of an isolated strong storm for communities south of Atlanta, the worst of the storm system will miss North Georgia.
“Because of the way low pressure is going to track — it’s going to track south of us — I think our risk is pretty limited,” he said. “... For the most part, I expect any severe weather to stay mainly to the south.”
With the rain around, temperatures will drop Tuesday, according to Channel 2. The projected high for Atlanta is only 58 degrees.
Once it’s gone, sunshine and warm weather return. Monahan said conditions will be ideal for enjoying the outdoors on a scale of one to five.
“Wednesday and Thursday we are right back to five,” he said. “ It looks pretty good as we head into the middle and end of the week.”
Traffic conditions are lighter than normal again Monday with less drivers commuting to work and Georgia schools closed amid the coronavirus crisis.
There are no major delays on metro Atlanta interstates at 9:30 a.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
“Folks that do have to work, you shouldn’t be late, because the interstates are delay-free,” traffic reporter Mark Arum said.
» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.
» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.
» Download The Atlanta Journal-Constitution app for weather alerts on-the-go.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.