It's Not Dust, It's Not Smoke, It's Allergy Season!

by Staff Reporter / Feb 17, 2017 / comments
Juniper tree pollen explosions Feb. 10 near Nogal, NM. Photo by Hollis Fuchs

It's Not Dust, It's Not Smoke, It's Allergy Season!

Staff Report

It looks like smoke, but it isn’t. Warmer than usual weather is spurring an early increase in pollen counts across the state. In our region juniper trees are starting to release pollen, sometimes explosively. Photos taken in the Nogal area by Hollis Fuchs, a contributor to the Daily Post show what that can look like.


Photo by Hollis Fuchs

According to Pollen.com, a service provided by the health research company QuintilesIMS, weather plays a direct role in the severity and length of the allergy season. Weather conditions will increase the amount of pollen production to yield high pollen levels or decrease pollen production to yield low pollen levels. A mild winter can signify an early allergy season, since trees tend to start pollinating earlier. Dry, windy weather spreads pollen quickly, producing a higher distribution of pollen…increasing allergy symptoms. A late freeze or rain can reduce the pollen count by washing pollen from the air. Although sometimes increased rain in spring makes grass grow faster to produce more unwanted pollen.

Pollen counts are increasing in the Espanola area, with juniper, elm and mulberry topping the pollen charts. Juniper pollen in particular, is seeing increased levels, but slightly cooler weather and a chance for precipitation forecast this weekend is expected to reduce the pollen count. But starting next week look for pollen-induced allergies to increase.


Photo by Hollis Fuchs