Science shows Richmond’s allergy season more intense than before

Posted at 1:22 PM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 14:11:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints over the past two years from both people who normally suffer from Spring allergies and those who never used to suffer -- but suddenly suffer now. The normal sufferers said their allergies have been a lot worse lately.

Not surprising to Dr. Jeremy Hoffman,  a Climate & Earth Science Specialist at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Citing Richmond pollen data collected over the last 30 years, Dr. Hoffman said the local pollen count has become more intense over the past few years.

Over the last three decades, the three most explosive allergy seasons happened in 2010, 2016, and this year.

The data also showed tree and grass pollen seasons have started sooner over the past 30 years.

Dr. Hoffman’s climate data showed the long-term trend for much of the country has been toward an earlier arrival of spring.

The years 2015 and 2016 were extremely wet years in Richmond.

The combination of excessive rain and the trend of an earlier spring may be the perfect combination for the Central Virginia pollen explosion.