If you thought Thursday’s pollen count was high, think again.
Pollen levels soared from 3,065 Thursday to 6,262 Friday, according to Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, which tracks the daily pollen count.
That is the highest pollen count since 2013 and the fifth highest since records began in 1991, officials said.
Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan called it “a pollen explosion.”
The daily pollen count, which is released about 7 a.m., is the total number of grains of pollen per cubic meter over the previous 24-hour period. Trees like oak, pine, sycamore, willow and sweet gum sent lots of the yellow stuff in the air after days of dry weather and high temperatures.
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The high range for tree pollen begins at 90, and the National Allergy Bureau considers counts more than 1,500 to be extremely high. People sensitive to tree pollens are urged to take precautions if they need to be outdoors for long periods of time because they will experience symptoms at this level.
Kevin Schaffer, an allergist with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, said you can tell that an allergy season will be bad based on how early the high pollen counts start.
“This one is standing out as a horrible year,” he told the AJC.com Friday. “When you see this happening early on … it doesn’t forebode well.”
The highest pollen count over the past decade is 9,369, which was recorded on March 20, 2012.
While he’s not sure if 2019 will break that record, pollen levels typically reach their peak later in the month, he said.
For allergy sufferers who are sniffling and feeling yucky, some relief is on the way.
“Say it with me,” Monahan said. “This morning's rain will help, this morning's rain will help, this morning's rain will help.”