Pollen counts hit high levels across NC – how to check the latest data

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina pollen monitoring group run by the state out of Raleigh reports high amounts of pollen as April begins.

The agency is part of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. It monitors the pollen count in the Raleigh area from a sampler off Reedy Creek Road.  

The pollen count in the Raleigh area has recently spiked. Last week it was highest on Monday when counts were labeled as “high” on a scale of low, moderate, high and very high.

The levels remained much lower for several days until this Monday, according to the monitoring group. Monday, the level was 338.5 grains per cubic meter.

The main type of pollen is coming from trees — pine, oak, birch, and beech.

In North Carolina, trees typically provide the most pollen in the early spring with grasses peaking in May and weeds increasing in June, but hitting their yearly highs in September.

Weeds and grass are currently not causing the pollen spike, but as recently as March 25, grasses were moderate in the Raleigh area.  

The Raleigh pollen report, which is the only one in the state being operated by the N.C. Division of Air Quality, has a calendar that allows a detailed look at previous days along with a Twitter feed.

So far, the pollen count in Raleigh does not appear to have hit the “very high” level.

In Charlotte, the National Allergy Bureau keeps a daily pollen count and a calendar for recent months which is sorted by pollen type. On Monday, Charlotte’s pollen count was moderate and was also mainly from trees.  

Forsyth County authorities maintain a pollen count that is updated daily — along with a forecast that can predict levels three days away.  

On Monday, the count near Winston-Salem was 42 grains per cubic meter, which is moderate.

Forsyth County officials said trees were making up nearly all of the pollen. Of trees, here was the breakdown: 26 percent pine, 20 percent elm, 18 percent oak, 14 percent willow, 10 percent birch and cedar/juniper, sweetgum along maple were all under 5 percent.

“High temperatures pushing into the middle to upper 60s on Wednesday and Thursday will likely cause a marked increase in tree pollen levels which are expected to reach the lower high range,” the pollen forecast for Forsyth County said.

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