Hayfever season set to start this weekend as pollen levels soar
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Above-average temperatures will lead to an increase in pollen levels this weekend causing those with hayfever to suffer.
Temperatures are set to reach 15C this weekend - a stark contrast to the frigid conditions of a week ago which saw much of Norfolk covered in snow.
Fred Best, from Norwich based forecaster Weatherquest said the weekend was likely to see above-average temperatures.
He said: "The temperatures have been picking up slowly over the last couple of days. Saturday, it should stay dry with spells of sunshine and temperatures getting up to 14-15C."
Mr Best said the west of the county around Hunstanton and The Wash would see the highest temperatures. He said Sunday would see "a little bit of cloud" and potential showers but temperatures would still be above average for the time of year.
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The warmer weather will be a welcome change for many but the shift in temperature could trigger fungal spores to be released into the air, causing those with certain types of hayfever to suffer.
The National Pollen Monitoring Network based at the University of Worcester is forecasting fungal spores will be moderate to high for aspergillus/penicillium with airborne Hazel and alder pollen at moderate risk for February 16-22.
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Dr Beverley Adams-Groom, chief palynologist and pollen forecaster, at the NPMN, said: "At this time of year, we usually see hazel and alder tree pollen coming into peak season and this year is no exception.
"The pollen is released during mild weather (>10C), in dry and breezy conditions, such as we are currently seeing and which will continue over the forthcoming week.
"The minority of hay fever sufferers who are affected by these pollen types are likely to be affected. We do not know the number of people affected by these types but it is much fewer than the worst tree pollen type, silver birch.
"The main tree pollen season will start in late March or early April with silver birch pollen and then oak pollen from mid-April, all finishing by mid-late May. About 20-35% of hay fever sufferers are affected by these types.
"The worst pollen season is the grass, which occurs from May to July and affects about 95% of hay fever sufferers."