Environment

On the latest edition of Science Behind the Forecast, WAVE 3 meteorologist Tawana Andrew brings us news that no one wants: allergy season is getting longer. Andrew said more warmer days each year helps extend the allergy season. And she has the numbers to back it up.

“Recent data has showed that Louisville’s average spring temperature has increased by 3.6 degrees between 1970 and 2021. Along with that, Louisville is seeing 16 more days of above average temperatures each spring which means those plants are just soaking all of that in, then throwing all of the pollen out,” she said.

Andrew said these longer, warmer spring seasons are brought on, in part, by increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

“We have to watch the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere because higher carbon dioxide levels enhance a plant’s ability to go through photosynthesis and grow,” she said. “A 2014 study found that grass pollen levels doubled when carbon dioxide levels increased from about 400 parts per million — about where we are right now — to about 800 parts per million.”

As you prepare to stock up on allergy medication and tissues, listen to the latest edition of Science Behind the Forecast:

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.