PollenGeddon Is Coming, Are You Ready?
Fierce, vigorous, forceful and mighty, PollenGeddon will soon be roaring into cities and towns near you, bringing with it powerful gales and squalls as it comes. No, it's not the end of the world as we know it, but it could come close as it's going to be a difficult season for allergies. Severe pollen indexes will be creating a whirlwind of coughing, sneezing and irritating conditions for allergy sufferers across the country. It'll be here before you know it and it all has to do with what the experts like to call El Niño.
So the question is, are you ready? Here's everything you need to know to face PollenGeddon this season.
The Forecast: What is El Niño?
According to the National Ocean Service, "El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific."
To break it down, El Niño is an intricate weather pattern caused by changes in the ocean's temperatures. Typically, this weather craze - which can occur every two to seven years - lasts for nine to 12 months. This winter, El Niño has caused warmer-than-normal temperatures across western and central Canada, and across the western and northern U.S.
According to recent reports, this season's El Niño could be the strongest one that's occurred in 18 years. In early January of this year, the WSI, a division of The Weather Company, released a three month outlook for the beginning of 2016 reporting that the best chance of colder-than-normal temperatures lies in roughly the southern half of the lower 48 states, from Southern California into the Southern Plains, Deep South, Florida and the Carolinas. However, in a large part of the western and northern U.S., temperatures overall are expected to be warmer than normal.
Allergies and El Niño
Believe it or not, in addition to the abundance of abnormal weather patterns that El Niño is causing this year, it's also responsible for a swath of runny noses, itchy eyes and scratchy throats. You can thank the warmer weather for these earlier-than-normal allergies. Without as many freezes that kill weeds such as ragweed, they'll continue to send pollen into the air. These irregular weather conditions will also prompt an early growth of grasses and weeds that produce pollen, causing even more airborne allergens in the air. Mold spores found in grass usually go dormant in the winter when temperatures drop, but with above average warm temperatures, this could be a problem as well.
This phenomenon is actually nothing new. Over the past decade, pollen cycles have been changing and becoming longer than normal due to the increase in temperatures throughout the year.
Preparing for PollenGeddon
Although movies depicting the end of the world may have you believing you need to run out to your nearest store and stock up on essentials such as bottled water and canned goods, PollenGeddon isn't quite as severe. While it does call for some precautionary measures, there's no need to worry that your life - or the planet's - is on the line. Here are some helpful ways to prepare for the abundance of pollen:
- Keep a close eye on the National Allergy Bureau's pollen and mold spore counts.
- Limit exposure as much as possible by keeping windows in your home closed.
- Use dehumidifiers and air purifies to aid in keeping your air free of allergens.
Prevention at Home
One of the best ways to reduce allergy symptoms at home is to keep your air clean, fresh and comfortable. One of the best ways to do this is with an air purifier. Holmes air purifiers help alleviate the discomfort of your allergy symptoms with cleaner, purer air using advanced filtration technology to trap pollen and airborne pollutants in your home. Designs such as the Holmes® Mini Tower Air Purifier with Ultra-violet Technology and the Holmes® Allergen Remover Air Purifier Tower are essential for removing not just the extra build up of pollen, but all of the regular household dust, dust mite debris and pet dander as well. With one of these products you'll be able to breath more comfortably and relax easier knowing that El Niño won't be getting the best of you this year!