Saturday July 4, 2020



March 17

Suffering from allergies?

Allergy sufferers in for longer season after pollen counts rise with warm winter temperatures


Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:47 am, Tue Mar 13, 2012.

Allergy sufferers, take note: Tree pollen season is here, and it could be a long one.

The first puffs of this year’s tree pollen season appeared Feb. 22, but by the end of last week, the amount of pollen in the air at New Jersey’s counting site in Springfield, Union County, soared to 2,400 grains per cubic meter. In Mount Laurel, the count was at least 1,000 pollen grains per cubic meter.

Any measure more than 90 pollen grains per cubic meter is considered “high,” according to the National Allergy Bureau Scale. More than 1,500 grains is considered “extreme.”

The pollen count is expected to increase by the end of this week, with temperatures expected to reach the 70s with strong breezes, low humidity and little chance for showers.

Dr. Melissa Hutchison, a family practice physician with AtlantiCare in Upper Township, said she is just now starting to see patients complaining about seasonal allergies, but she expects the traffic will pick up quickly.

“What’s happening is the tree pollen counts are higher than usual for this time of year,” Hutchison said. “This is normally a time of year when the mold counts are high, so you have the combination.”

The unusually mild winter also is a factor. The ground never fully froze and there was little snow cover. The lack of the seasonal freeze meant those with mold allergies had more symptoms than usual, Hutchison said.

Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergy specialist with the Rutgers Center for Environmental Prediction and the director of the STARx Allergy and Asthma Center in Springfield, said he has noticed the past few pollen seasons have lasted longer and are more intense. “We’re starting earlier and starting higher in the past two years alone,” said Bielory, who has an Environmental Protection Agency grant to study the correlation of pollen seasons with climate change.

For example, Bielory said, the 2011 early tree pollen season began March 3 and the peak count of 1,800 was on March 18. In 2010, the season began March 6 and reached 800 on March 20.

Last Thursday, the pollen count began to soar, with the total count reaching 800. The next day, Bielory said, the count reached 2,400. The count has since dropped to 840 grains per cubic meter Monday.

Bielory said scientists are not sure whether trees are producing more pollen due to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or whether the pollen released is just hanging around in the air longer due to weather conditions. He is trying to answer that question through a series of experiments, he said.

Showers, which help reduce the pollen in the air, are likely overnight and into this morning, but the National Weather Service forecast calls for high temperatures to reach the upper 60s and low 70s. The forecast calls for temperatures Wednesday and Thursday to be warmer, with potentially gusty winds and low humidity, the weather service said.

 State climatologist David Robinson, also a professor at Rutgers University, said the ongoing unseasonable warmth shows no sign of abating and he’s not surprised pollen counts already are so high. “I’m looking at budding trees right now that I sometimes don’t see until early April.”

While it’s only the middle of March, temperatures predicted for this week are normal for early May, Robinson said.

“We’re in the midst of yet another warm month, we’re in the midst of a dry month, our second consecutive, and it doesn’t look like there’s any major storms on the horizon,” Robinson said. “This is one of the more unusual forecasts I’ve seen. We’ve seen warm days in February and March, but to have an extended stay of such warm temperatures, it’s pretty unusual.”


March 16

Early Pollen Count

SPRINGFIELD, NJ (CBSNewYork) - Pollen counters are getting an early start at Dr. Leonard Bielory’s office in Springfield.

WCBS 880′s Sean Adams On The Story

Due to the mild winter, pollen is here a few weeks early.

“March 10 has usually been our regular. February 22, 23, and 24 are not the normal times,” said the doctor.

Thursday’s count was high with maple leading the charge, and that was triple the count on Wednesday.

“It’s an earlier season. It’s going to be longer, and it will just increase the severity of the symptoms for many allergy sufferers,” Dr. Bielory told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “An individual who would only be mildly allergic exposed for a week or two is now exposed for two weeks to three weeks, is having an increased sensitivity.”

Bielory is with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and Rutgers University and is studying climate change and allergies.

“This actually continues a trend that we’ve been seeing. The paper’s literally right on my desk, where climate change and shifting pollen trends in the New York metropolitan area,” he said.

The early release is unusual, but not unprecedented. The doctor says during a recent El Nino the trees started pollinating in January.

Audio file: 

March 16

Early Tree Pollen Charts

Tree pollen continue to mount with highest levels yet to date in the New York / Northern New Jersey region affecting the northeast and middle atlantic states. These are even higher  (see figures provided) 
than last 2 year of tree pollen counts and certainly earlier (sample of last 2 years of tree pollen counts attached as well)

Note that in the past 24 hours that tree pollen had tripled in concentration

the most commonly trees are predominantly cedar , elm and maple

Picture of pollen from maple is attached.
More information is available - please contact Leonard Bielory, M.D. for more information The pollen counts and distribution of types of pollen can be obtained from

March 15

What is the Pollen Count?

The pollen count is the number of pollen grains found in each cubic metre of air. This is not determined simply by how many flowers there are, but also by the weather. The amount of sunshine, rain or wind there is affects how much pollen plants release. Hayfever symptoms tend to begin when the pollen count is over 20 for ragweed, but varies for difefretn allergens. You can check the links to the pollen on the website for more information!

March 15

Allergies arrive earlier than usual?

Expect an Earlier Start to Allergy Season

The 2011-2012 winter has been a rather enjoyable one for people who dislike cold weather. However, the mild season also made way for an earlier start to the itchy season for allergy sufferers. Pollen has not yet been released in New Jersey, but its time is almost here.

According to Doctor Leonard Bielory with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, specializing in Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, the release of pollen in New Jersey should start earlier than it has in the past.

“Pollen will be starting the first week in March,” said Bielory. “Usually it’s March 15th, but we’re already scanning the air for pollen release because of the warm weather.”

If the course of temperatures continues on its current path, Bielory said it’s even possible to have pollination start in New Jersey by the end of February.

Referring to data over the past two decades, Bielory noted while the strength of pollen has dwindled over time, the length of pollen season has grown.

“It’s being released earlier and going later,” he explained.

For now, though, New Jerseyans can consider themselves lucky. Texas has already started experiencing its cedar pollen season. Allergists in Georgia said patients are already coming in with allergic-type symptoms.

Bielory advised allergy sufferers in New Jersey to pre-medicate if they have the opportunity.

He continued, “If you have allergies, your allergy season is about to begin, whether you like it or not. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Pollen counts can be followed at

Source: NJ 101.5

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Location: Springfield, NJ
Today's Date: July 04, 2020
Station Director: Leonard Bielory, M.D
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