Spring is coming to Canada. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and love is in the air – just like pollen!
Pollen is released in large quantities into the air and is synonymous with itchy eyes, runny nose and many other unpleasant symptoms for people with seasonal allergies.
According to Dr. David Fischer, an allergic rhinitis specialist, 20 to 30 percent of Canadians have seasonal allergies – and they have tears in their eyes.
“Many people look forward to spring. However, this season is often painful for allergy sufferers, says Dr. Fischer, former president of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Pollen species vary from province to province, but tree pollen is the one that triggers the first type of seasonal allergies, sometimes as early as the beginning of March. “
An early and warm spring does not bode well for people who suffer from allergies. “Although they strike in all regions of Canada, spring allergies are usually particularly intense in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, where the pollen season for trees, especially alder, runs from February to June, ”says Dr. Fischer.
In the rest of the country, this period extends rather from April to June, as Dr Fischer indicates. “However, it is true that allergies to grass pollen, particularly present in central Canada, also cause significant eye symptoms,” he adds.
Many people with allergies are wondering what to expect this year. “The amount of pollen depends on how quickly the mercury rises and how much it reaches,” says Kelly Sonnenburg, meteorologist, The Weather Network.
In some parts of Canada, early spring is marked by heat, which could mean the early start of the pollen season. “In the spring, large differences are often recorded in terms of both temperature and precipitation,” says Sonnenburg. Mercury is expected to continue to oscillate until the end of May.
Here is a regional portrait of the pollen season forecast in Canada, prepared by Dawn Jurgens, Director of Operations, Aerobiology Research Laboratories, based on long-term forecasts from The Weather Network.
Long-term forecasts are that the spring will be warmer than usual in the province. However, due to the unusually cold weather in March, which continues into April, pollen levels may be below normal for this time of year. However, with rising temperatures, the amount of pollen will increase rapidly. In the coming weeks, pollen from trees like willow and ash will appear.
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
In these provinces, hot weather will be interspersed with particularly cold days during the spring. The pollen season will therefore start a little later in the spring and should be shorter than normal. If the mercury rises quickly in April, the pollen level may be higher than the seasonal average on certain days.
Quebec and Ontario
MétéoMédia forecasts temperatures that will be significantly higher than in the past two years, which should interrupt several weeks of colder than normal weather. As a result, the spring pollen season will be later than usual in most of Ontario. In addition, if temperatures climbed in a short time, many days would have been marked by higher than usual pollen levels, as in the Prairies.
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
Variations in spring temperatures should resemble what is usually experienced in the area, and precipitation will approach or exceed normal. These conditions are not expected to have a large impact on overall pollen levels. For some time, the amount of pollen will remain low, until the mercury rises. However, the pollen season is expected to extend beyond normal in 2020 in the region.