Fall allergies wreaking havoc and won’t stop anytime soon


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Colder temperatures arrived, and while that has put an abrupt end to allergy season in the past, that has not been the case this year. Our fall allergies have been particularly bad this year and the weather pattern is to blame.

“It’s a little bit different because typically I’ve always experienced allergies in the spring, and here they kind of seem to come in the fall which is very odd,” Briana McCall, an allergy sufferer said.

Allergy season occurs in three different pollen phases. It starts in the spring with tree pollen, then heads into grass and mold season for the bulk of the summer, and weeds bloom full throttle and cause issues through November. Utah’s most popular weeds include sagebrush, ragweed and chenopods. The weeds can be found in backyards, along the side of the road and throughout Northern and Southern Utah.

“Historically, sagebrush would be the number one thing that would cause problems in the fall above all other weeds, but the last few years, the sage brush has not been that high because it’s been so dry,” Dr. Duane Harris of Intermountain Allergy and Asthma said Monday.

Our wet spring has allowed sagebrush pollen to flourish, and we are seeing sagebrush pollen counts mirroring numbers from 20 years ago. Our weather pattern has brought in some unseasonably cold storms, and while those curb allergens, they have not put an end to sagebrush season.

“Sage just laughs at frost, it needs to get into the 20s or snow on the sagebrush before it stops pollinating so typically sage will pollinate well into November,” said Harris.

Allergy sufferers should resist the urge to crack the windows and make sure they replace their furnace filters every 30 days.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.