PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ahhh-choo! Can you see it, smell it, or sneeze it? Yup, pollen levels are forecast to be high again this week. It’s the price we’re paying for the nice, rain-free weather. We made it through an entire weekend without rain and reached the highest temperature so far this year in Portland: 76 at PDX. The only problem is that this nice weather corresponds with the time of year in which trees are spreading their seeds of love, aka tree pollen.
Pollen counts are expected to peak on Wednesday in the medium to high category. Why Wednesday? A few factors, least of which is a stretch of dry days. We haven’t had any measurable rain in Portland since last Thursday, May 19. Granted, that’s not a long time but it’s the longest stretch we’ve had without a drop of rain, not even a trace, since February (PDX Feb. 6-13, 2022)!
The warm up: Portland’s mercury jumps up to the upper 70’s on Wednesday. That will be the warmest day to wrap up meteorological spring (March 1 to May 31). If we do reach 77, that will make this Wednesday the warmest day so far this year for Portland.
All that said, pollen thrives in moist, warm environments. After a spring full of above-normal rainfall, including the #1 rainiest April on record (PDX 5.73″ April 2022), all the elements are primed to share the gift that keeps on giving.
So, what is this lovely yellow confetti drifting in the wind? According to the National Allergy Bureau, the top three tree species thriving in the Willamette Valley now are:
- Pine Family with air bladders: Pinaceae (Pine family) Pinaceae
- Juniper family Cedar: Juniper family, Cedar Cupressaceae
- Oak: Fagaceae (Beech family) Quercus
Rain is both a friend and foe. While it does encourage growth of our lovely pollen producing foliage and adds moisture to the air, it also helps to wash away pollen that has settled on cars, window ledges, and generally anything you touch. Notice, in the forecast above, pollen counts drop rapidly. Why? We have rain in the forecast starting Thursday. Whew! Pollen relief.
While I am a mom, I’m not your mom. So, do what you need to do to prepare for a surge in pollen. It’s probably best to visit your local allergist/doctor/naturalist. I swear by saline rinses, nasal allergy sprays, and daily allergy medication. Good luck!