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Sneezes Springing Up All Over Florida

  1. Allergy season started early, levels climbing
  2. Limit time outdoors, use air conditioning
  3. Pattern unlikely to change for another week

You may have noticed a yellow film on your car and outdoor furniture recently.  February's warmer weather has led to an early spring, and with the budding trees and colorful azaleas comes plenty of pollen.

Oak trees are the primary contributor to the high pollen counts in Florida this month.

Dr. Mercedes Pernice, a board certified Allergist at SIMED says the season has started early, "We had a very cold stretch of winter, followed by early warmth this spring. This increases plant pollination."

For allergy sufferers, that means misery. Pollen counts have been rising across Florida since mid-February according to Iquvia, the owner of the RotoRod network that measures pollen. A ridge of high pressure is likely to keep temperatures in Florida warmer than normal for several days, and with no significant rain in the forecast, pollen counts are likely to increase through the weekend.

Pernice says limiting time outdoors is just one of the ways an allergy sufferer can reduce exposure, "They can also keep the windows and doors closed as well, using air conditioning with outdoor vents closed too.  That would help."

She also reminds us to think about what our pets may be carrying, "If you have pets, even if you are not allergic to them, consider bathing them following outdoor activity to reduce indoor contamination."

A weak front is expected to move into the northern part of Florida early next week, possibly bringing some relief to those areas.  However, a significant change in the weather pattern is not in the foreseeable future. The warm, dry weather is likely to continue for at least the next seven days.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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