Blame the Polar Vortex: Allergy Season Could Be Worse Than Usual



Don’t shoot the messenger here, people. TIME broke the bad news this week, that our polar vortex winter could leave allergy sufferers in dire straits come spring.


According to allergy experts, the record-setting snowfall in some regions and the lingering below-freezing temperatures (parts of the Midwest and the East Coast enjoyed another dumping of the white stuff in this first week of spring) could mean a late flowering for trees. That means that once the temperatures do warm up, pollinating trees will be busy catching up, spewing higher than average amounts of sneeze- and sniffle-inducing allergens into the spring air.

See, what usually happens is that the cold winter air tapers off and turns to warm spring weather gradually over the course of a few weeks. But this year, since the winter has dragged on for so long, experts think the eventual warm-up will happen much more quickly than usual, truncating the pollen-seeping process and making all the allergens come out at once. It’s all still a big “if,” but IF it happens, allergy sufferers (i.e. me) could be in trouble.

A UPenn doc gives some tips on how allergy sufferers can guard themselves over on TIME, so go read up ASAP.

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