Dry Midwest Cities Top the List for the Worst for Fall Allergies
The record-breaking summer heat and the fall hurricane season are contributing to one of the worst fall allergy seasons yet, says Dr. Cliff Bassett with Allergy and Asthma Care of New York. These weather conditions have caused increased amounts of mold and pollen, particularly in the Midwest. Weather.com has teamed up with the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA) to present the top ten US cities with the worst conditions for fall allergy sufferers.
The cities are ranked according to pollen scores, with the most common fall allergens being ragweed, goldenrod and molds. A single ragweed plant, common to the Eastern and Midwestern states, can produce one billion pollen grains per season and warmer temperatures means a longer growing season leading to more pollen contact. In late summer and early fall, about 10 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from ragweed allergy. Other criteria for the city rankings include number of allergy medications per patient and the number of allergy specialists per patient.
Knoxville, Tennessee has been crowned as the Top Allergy City of both spring and fall. Allergists say that East Tennessee, situated in the Smoky Mountains, has a lot of deep valleys and inversions that hold the air pollution and pollen within the city. Early September in Knoxville is the peak of the weed pollen season, with the most common allergen being ragweed.
Second on the AAFA list is Dayton, Ohio – a city that has a lot of precipitation from winter blizzards, spring floods and summer rains causing “super bloom,” a steady and lengthy release of pollen, says Dr. Bassett. The end of the fall allergy season in Dayton isn’t expected until early November.