ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Allergy sufferers beware as pollen levels are on the rise in and around Rochester. Have you been wondering what has you sneezing lately? It depends on what type of pollen is active given the season, and which type triggers you and your allergies.

30 Day Historic Pollen Levels for Rochester, NY

Graph from

When the air starts to get warmer like it has been it triggers plants and flowers to start pollinating, which is why spring usually kicks off the “start” of allergy season. Although plants pollinate throughout the seasons year round, typically more pollen is being created and tossed around during the spring and summer months.

Pollen is spread by the wind with grass, trees, and weeds being the main culprits, and is produced by plants in mass quantities as a part of their reproductive process. It’s easily carried through the air and can land in a person’s eyes, nose, lungs and on their skin.

Pollen has been known to cause allergies in those who are allergic to specific types of pollen based on the time of year, and which type is active. Your immune system treats it as an invader as it enters your body like it would a virus, and your body responds to it with your typical allergy symptoms; coughing, itchy throat, runny nose, and sneezing.

The most active type of pollen this time of year comes from trees, and are typically the first to trigger allergies in those more sensitive to tree pollen. The top tree allergens include maple, poplar and juniper. Other trees that cause allergies include elm, pine, birch, ash, hickory, poplar, and cypress among others.

Typically, mid spring to late summer is when grass allergies are at their worst since people are out mowing their lawn, and combined with those nice, fair weather breezes these factors can easily toss around pollen particles throughout the air we breathe in from day to day. Different grass pollen that cause allergies include timothy, rye, and blue grass.

Weed pollen appears during the fall months and include ragweed, nettle, mugwort, fat hen, and sorrel.

The amount of pollen produced from place to place varies based on climate and location. Day to day weather can affect pollen levels locally depending on how dry it’s been, and if rain is in the forecast. When the air has been dry for a while it can be more prone to warming, which can further enhance the pollination process. With little rain to flush out these allergens it can become an issue for many that spend the season suffering through the symptoms that allergies bring to the table.

Air pollution such as ozone and smog can also trigger certain allergies, and promote breathing issues for those more sensitive to air pollutants including the elderly and those with asthma.

With less than impressive chances for rain over the next several days, it doesn’t look like pollen counts will be going too far down any time soon.

Get the local forecast HERE.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory