With everyone grabbing their winter coats for the polar vortex, nothing else seemed to be on the minds of those in winter’s pathway.
However, there was a new threat on the warpath for allergy sufferers: the pollen vortex.
This concept came from spring’s reaction to a long winter. Pollen was essentially delayed by snow, rain and overall cold temperatures.
Once the cold abated, this pollen vortex was supposed to strike with a vengeance.
Even the best air purifier couldn’t help those with hay fever. Huge pollen counts were forecasted for 2014, but they weren’t as bad as first predicted.
Trees and Grasses Didn’t Combine in Power
Every plant species has a slightly different pollen transfer period.
People are familiar with spring’s burst of reproductive power, but summer and fall also offer pollination opportunities.
Plants want the best chances to further their species so pollen may release at various times to increase their reproductive outlook.
The pollen vortex failed to occur because plants didn’t automatically release all their pollen when it warmed.
Trees and grasses spread out their release like normal, allowing pollen counts to remain relatively low for most of the year.
Pollen Count Competitive Between 2013 and 2014
All the excitement of a pollen vortex was truly quieted when counts were compared between 2013 and 2014.
Throughout 2013 as a whole, more pollen was detected in the air compared to 2014. Scientists were interested in a particular finding with high pollen counts, however.
2014 recorded an increase in total days reporting high pollen advisories.
2013 had higher pollen counts across all days combined, but 2014 concentrated certain days with more pollen.
This unusual factor still has to be investigated for its significance, but it still didn’t trigger the pollen vortex meant to stifle millions of people with congestion and other frustrating symptoms.
Global Warming Aspect
Although the pollen vortex didn’t appear, there is evidence it could occur at some point in the future.
Global warming is occurring, creating longer warm seasons for plant proliferation.
As plants acclimate to a long growing season, they’ll naturally reproduce and create pollen.
Scientists predict a longer and more concentrated pollen season could be ahead in the next few years.
Although global warming is a slow trend, plants respond quickly to their environment for evolutionary success.
There could be another warning for a pollen vortex in the coming year.
Everyone Reacts Differently
When allergy sufferers purchase the best air purifier, it’s impossible to remain in a building all the time to feel the relief it offers.
However, all allergy sufferers have varying reactions to pollen when they go outside.
Some people don’t even worry about a high count or pollen vortex.
It usually comes down to pollen type. Each plant has a unique pollen to their species.
Elm, for instance, bothers one person while a neighbor could react strongly to ragweed.
If a pollen vortex is predicted again, scientists and allergy sufferers will want to know the plant types involved and not just the counts.
With another polar vortex presumably in the future, 2015 may be another year with pollen vortex potential.
Scientists will continue to study winter and spring effects, especially how they both relate.
Millions of people suffer from seasonal allergies, making pollen counts an important part of scientific study.