Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tale of Two Different Aprils

Cedar Point in late April
It's hard to believe but temperatures for the first 3 weeks of April were well above normal. I've mentioned this fact to many people and they don't believe me.  Of course since then, the average temperatures have been anything but warm. The recency effect, as I've written, has certainly played a part in most people's perceptions of the April temperatures as a whole. Here are the numbers and handy pictures:

The first 20 days of April were above normal for not only Ohio but much of the US.
It was the 4th warmest first 20 days of April in Cleveland since 1871! The only years warmer were 1945, 1955 and 2010.

 Then the bottom fell out since then...

The temperatures across not only Cleveland but the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and portions of the Deep South were well below normal. The period from April 21 through April 28 was the 7th coldest on record. The last year which featured a colder late April was 1940!

Luckily, the forecast for the beginning of May is showing a nice warm up. Expect temperatures in May to average above normal.

Monday, April 27, 2015

How Does Day-to-Day Weather Effect Spring Pollen Levels?

Flowing Pear Tree
Tree pollen is starting to read its ugly head.

Levels are running a bit behind last year as of April 27th. Pretty soon, a blanket of yellow or orange will cover everything.

Last Friday (24th), the level was between 1 and 9 grains per cubic meter. Last spring, after the cold and snowy winter of 2013-14, I charted the tree pollen count from early May through early June to see the seasonal trend. Notice how the numbers rose exponentially by the second week of May. The May 14th level of 2310 seems a bit high (it also occurred on a day with little wind) considering the overall levels. It might be a bogus reading.

The levels stayed fairly high with some variation through the end of the month. By early June, tree pollen was on the decline. Grass would replace it.

Did the tree pollen levels fluctuate day-to-day as the average wind speed changed?  The overall pollen count trend seems to stay in lock-step with the winds. As the winds increase, so does the pollen count.

How about temperature versus tree pollen levels AND wind speed?

Keep and eye on the tree pollen count as the winds increase with higher temperatures over the next 2-3 weeks. A few warm and breezy days will drive the tree pollen counts through the roof.

Get ready. Have your antihistamine handy!