Pollen forecasts bring help to Hay Fever sufferers

20 05 2011
Field Marigold flower

Different types of pollen are released throughout the year which can generate hay fever and other allergies. These symptoms can have a serious impact on the well-being of some people.

Pollen season

The pollen count season is normally March to August. However, it can start as early as January and end as late as November.

The pollen season separates into three main sections:

  1. Tree pollen – late March to mid-May.
  2. Grass pollen – mid-May to July.
  3. Weed pollen – end of June to September

Our pollen calendar has a detailed breakdown of the different types of pollen and their peak times within a season. However this year many sufferers are experiencing symptoms earlier than normal due to the fine and warm weather being experienced across the UK right now.

How can the Met Office help?

We manage the only pollen count monitoring network in the UK and produce pollen forecasts up to five days ahead. We use information from our network, our weather data and expertise from organisations such as the National Pollen and Aerobiological Unit  at the University of Worcester to produce  forecasts which are designed to help support allergy and Hay fever sufferers through the most difficult time of the year.

Pollen forecasts

We provide free, public UK pollen forecasts on the Invent section of our website. Just visit the Weather Map page and select the pollen count information.

  • Two-day pollen forecast, updated daily.
  • Three-day pollen forecast, updated daily.
  • Five-day pollen forecast, updated daily.
  • Monthly forecast, updated weekly.

These can be offered for our 16 weather forecasting regions. We can also offer a summary of the previous season and a seasonal outlook for the upcoming pollen count season. We can also provide pollen forecast information for display on your website or through other media channels.

Met Office in the Media: 26th April 2011

26 04 2011

As we head back to work the Met Office can confirm that we have had the hottest Easter in recent history. The hottest place over the weekend was Wisley in Surrey where the Met Office recorded a high of 27.8 C on Saturday. Many other parts enjoyed temperatures in the low and mid 20s though it was cooler in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The previous warmest Easter was in 1984 when temperatures reach 23.7 C.

Met Office comes to the rescue as hay-fever sufferers wilt in heat writes Mike McCarthy in the Independent explaining that Britain’s millions of hayfever sufferers have a new helping hand following the  introduction of daily pollen forecasts on our website. The new service, which covers the whole of the UK, represents a step change in the resources available to sufferers. At present, it is updated at noon every day, but it is hoped that the update can be made earlier in the day to give sufferers more time to plan their days.

It gives pollen forecasts for each of the Met Office’s 16 regions, which are available as two-day, three-day and five-day forecasts, updated daily, and a monthly forecast, updated every week.

Yolanda Clewlow, Met Office UK Pollen Network Manager said: “Variable weather conditions across the country mean that levels of pollen often vary greatly from day to day, so it’s important the hay fever sufferers stay up to date with the latest forecast. You may need to take medication in advance of high-count days.”

The Independent (Branson and O’Leary ‘were wrong’ to deny ash-cloud risk), BBC (Volcanic ash air shutdown the ‘right’ decision) and Guardian (Concerns for air traffic during volcanic ash cloud were legitimate, say scientists), A new report published this week and completed by the University of Iceland and the University of Copenhagen have shown that it was right to close airspace following the eruption of the Iceland Volcano in April 2010.  Airspace closures in Europe potentially averted tragic consequences after Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano shot ash high into the atmosphere in April 2010.  Immediately after the eruption, Sigurdur Gislason and colleagues at the University of Iceland collected samples of the ash and sent them to a team led by Susan Stipp at the University of Copenhagen’s Nano-Science Center. The Danish researchers analyzed the samples and determined that the costly flight cancellations had likely been warranted. According to the authors, glacial meltwater entered the volcano and cooled the magma, which produced ash particles that were especially fine-grained, hard, sharp, and capable of sandblasting airplane surfaces such as windows and exposed aluminum parts. In addition, the authors estimate that the Eyjafjallajökull ash would have melted at the high operating temperature of most jet engines, potentially caused them to stall. In 1982, all four engines failed on an airliner carrying 263 passengers after the craft flew through an explosive ash cloud over Indonesia. The pilot managed to restart three of the engines and land safely by peering through a small strip of glass that had avoided scouring. The authors also present a protocol that may help officials assess the risk to aircraft posed by future explosive eruptions.


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