© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Allergy season feeling longer than usual? Meteorologist Tawana Andrew says it's not all in your head

A Hoverfly (family Sirfidae, insects that mimic a bee) covered in pollen from a yellow flower. This insect is very similar to a bee. There are several differences between them, one of them is that bees carry pollen in special structures on their hind legs.
ForestWander Nature Photography

On the latest edition of Science Behind the Forecast, WAVE 3 meteorologist Tawana Andrew brings us news that no one wants: allergy season is getting longer. Andrew said more warmer days each year helps extend the allergy season. And she has the numbers to back it up.

"Recent data has showed that Louisville's average spring temperature has increased by 3.6 degrees between 1970 and 2021. Along with that, Louisville is seeing 16 more days of above average temperatures each spring which means those plants are just soaking all of that in, then throwing all of the pollen out," she said.

Andrew said these longer, warmer spring seasons are brought on, in part, by increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

"We have to watch the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere because higher carbon dioxide levels enhance a plant's ability to go through photosynthesis and grow,” she said. “A 2014 study found that grass pollen levels doubled when carbon dioxide levels increased from about 400 parts per million — about where we are right now — to about 800 parts per million."

As you prepare to stock up on allergy medication and tissues, listen to the latest edition of Science Behind the Forecast:

89.3 WFPL News Louisville · Is climate change making allergy season longer?

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.