Sneeze season, or Sneezon if you prefer, is upon us once again, having spent its winter hibernation period gathering strength for a harrowing spring. According to Patch, the East Coast can count on an especially allergic Sneezon in 2019, more allergic than anywhere else in the country, due in large part to the very wet but insufficiently snowy stretch we just weathered. I don't know about you but I feel personally attacked by this forecast.
Contrary to what the Weather Hogs predicted, winter has not felt short, and cold temps continue to drag even now that spring has technically sprung. This seems to have placed a freeze on Sneezon's plans, but just because it's late doesn't mean it's never going to arrive. Allegedly, pollination steam will really pick up in April, a disconcerting prediction, considering that April starts on Monday.
According to AccuWeather, the mid-Atlantic will be sitting squarely in the eye of the allergy hurricane: Very soon, allergy sufferers will be hauling themselves snoozily through a city coated in yellow sneeze dust, involuntarily weeping from red eyes, their ears ringing with that unscratchable itch and their throats clawed raw by pollen's invisible talons. They will feel acute nostalgia for this damp liminal period when wildly variable temps mean we will always be a little too hot or a little too cold.
In an email to Gothamist, AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert explained that we owe the impending onslaught to the succession of sloshy months that seem finally to have come to a close. (I typed this with one hand as I knocked on wood with the other.) All of the wet weather creates fertile conditions for pollen factories—e.g. trees, grass—to churn out the allergens once temperatures climb higher in April. Although allergy Sneezon has technically begun, Reppert said, tree pollens will be at their worst in May, slackening in June. That doesn't mean you'll finally enjoy a break, though, because the tree pollens will be replaced by grass pollens and you can never escape!
I'm not sure if it helps or hurts to be reminded that we've been through this before: Allergy Sneezon 2018, for example, was one of NYC's most brutal in recent memory, due to an extended chill brought abruptly to an end by a warm snap. (It's an increasingly familiar pattern in this time of climate change.) That quick change triggered a surprise explosion of pollen-producing plant life, which sounds a lot like the storm gathering on April's horizon. Basically, this is where we live now, I'm sorry: