Weather Affects Your Fall Allergies

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Sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes? You could be suffering from these symptoms because of fall allergies. Pollen is near it’s seasonal peak for Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley. For allergy sufferers, Fort Smith is one (out of five) of the worst pollen cities across the country as of Tuesday, September 11. Tulsa and Oklahoma City are also on the high pollen count list.

Ragweed pollen is currently the most active, and the quantity of pollen grains will remain high. An allergy to ragweed is often common, since the weed is in abundance throughout the area. The following picture shows the plant’s typically appearance. It’s often found near agricultural fields and roadways.

*Image courtesy of


Ragweed usually flowers during late-summer once overnight temperatures reach below 60°F and the nights become longer.

The “Allergy Map” classifies the pollen levels from low to high, with red as the highest pollen count and minimal pollen in the green colors. Oklahoma and Arkansas have some of the highest pollen counts currently across the country.

Since the pollen count is near the seasonal peak, the amount of pollen grains in the air will remain high. Allergy sufferers in our area will continue to have problems through the rest of the week as levels remain well into the high category.

While the pollen counts is expected to remain high, the weather actually plays a role in how bad your allergies may get.

Fall pollen increasing has three major factors: humidity, seasonal changes, and dry, windy conditions. The tiny pollen can easily blow around, even up to 400 miles, when the weather conditions are dry and windy outside. While moisture is bad for mold, it can actually keep pollen grains from flying around in the air.

Ragweed allergy season slowly ends once the first frost hits and the weed stops growing, which will not be until later this fall for our area.

Your pollen allergies may feel worse in the morning hours and die down by the afternoon. The good news if you can’t tolerate the sneezing: the pollen counts will continue to drop as we go throughout the next few months.


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