You nose knows

Published 11:24 am Friday, April 10, 2015

Have problems dealing with seasonal allergic rhinitis?

If so, the next several days may pose a problem for those who suffer with seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever and pollen allergies.

The pollen allergy forecast for Washington today is 8.1 out of a possible 12 (extremely high), according to ( The forecast for Saturday is 6.9, rising to 9.2 on Sunday. The forecast drops off slightly to 9 on Monday.

An initial forecast had today’s pollen forecast at 11.5, but the rain that moved through the area early Thursday washed away that forecast and some of the pollen.

That’s right, it’s pollen time — dogwoods are blooming, the Masters golf tournament is taking place in Augusta, Ga., and pollen is coating vehicles, leaving them with a yellow powder on their surfaces.

The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases’ website provides this information about pollen:

“Most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from plants that don’t have showy flowers, such as trees, weeds, and grasses. These plants make small, light, and dry pollen grains that are made to be carried by wind.

“Because airborne pollen can drift for many miles, removing an offend­ing plant may not help. Amazingly, scientists have collected samples of ragweed pollen 400 miles out at sea and 2 miles high in the air. In addition, most allergy-causing pollen comes from plants that produce it in huge quantities. For example, a single ragweed plant can generate a million grains of pollen every day.”

Weather Underground identifies maple, birch and cedar/juniper as trees producing most of the pollen in eastern North Carolina this weekend. Its website carries a pollen warning similar to the one issued by

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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