Not as bad as last year, but still worse than usual allergy season for 2014

 A man walks along a path lined with elm trees in Princeton, N.J. in this file photo. Spring weather has a big downside for allergy sufferers: Tree buds, the first being elms and maples, begin releasing pollen (Daniel Hulshizer/AP Photo, file)

A man walks along a path lined with elm trees in Princeton, N.J. in this file photo. Spring weather has a big downside for allergy sufferers: Tree buds, the first being elms and maples, begin releasing pollen (Daniel Hulshizer/AP Photo, file)

All the snow that caused travel woes during the winter is leading to another problem this spring.

Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergy specialist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, tracks the pollen count in New Jersey. He says the snowy winter means it will be a bad year for allergies.

“The ground has become saturated with a lot of nutrients so they plants are ripe and are just waiting for the proper temperature,” Bielory said. “The temperatures are rising so when we hit that 50 degree mark on a persistent basis we will be in the thousands of pollen grains per cubic meter seen from trees over the next two weeks.”

Bielory also expects there will be a lot more grass pollen when that season begins next month.

While he does not expect pollen levels will be as intense as last year when all the water from Sandy caused plants to flourish, he says this allergy season is likely to be among the most severe in recent memory.

“Five feet of snow may seem a lot in cold weather, but it’s only several inches of actual rain water when it melts down,” he explained. “So this year pollen counts will reach perhaps to the second or third highest levels over the past ten years.”

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