As the leftovers of a tropical storm hammer the UK, millions of hayfever patients have been warned that a high pollen count and thunderstorms will create a weather phenomena known as ‘thunder fever.’
Ex-tropical storm Alex will bring ‘unseasonably’ strong winds to the UK later this week, with gusts of up to 45mph in certain locations, while pollen levels will be pushed to ‘high’ or’very high’ in all of England and Wales by Friday.
Storm Alex wreaked havoc on Florida, dumping 5.2 inches (133 millimeters) of rain. By the time it hits Britain, it will have lost most of its force due to its journey across the Atlantic, but there will still be enough for strong winds.
Pollen counts will be’medium’ today in southern and eastern England, rising to’very high’ tomorrow and across most of England by Friday. In Scotland, it will be ‘low,”medium,’ and ‘high,’ while in Northern Ireland, it will be’medium,’ and in Wales, it will be ‘high.’
‘With this wonderful weather, thunderstorms are also anticipated, and these can cause problems for hayfever patients,’ said Max Wiseberg, designer of the HayMax allergen barrier balm.
From Thursday onwards, extremely high pollen counts are expected across much of England, wreaking havoc on the millions of hay-fever sufferers in the country. Thunderstorms are expected, but they may bring with them a condition known as ‘thunder fever.’
He highlighted a study published in The European Respiratory Review that indicated dampness breaks pollen grains down into tiny allergic particles, resulting in’super pollen.’
‘This looks to be more allergenic than conventional pollen, generating more severe reactions in sufferers,’ Mr Wiseberg continued. Storms whip up pollen grains and fungal spores near the ground, bringing pollen grains that would normally have ascended above head height out of harm’s path.’
Ex-tropical storm Alex will bring low pressure from the west to the east starting tomorrow.
Winds will begin to pick up across the UK on Friday, and showers will move into the western sections of the country, particularly the North West, which includes Northern Ireland, western Scotland, and parts of northern England.
‘The wind is the primary component of the story – abnormally strong gusts for the time of year,’ said Oli Claydon, a Met Office spokeswoman. Through Friday, gusts of up to 45 mph are possible.
‘Those kinds of wind speeds will be confined to the far north-west of the UK, but as the low pressure system passes through the north of the UK on Saturday, a wider area of the north could see those kinds of wind speeds.’
‘It will be windy everywhere in the UK, although the low pressure will have less impact the further south you travel.’
Mr Claydon went on to say that as the weekend approaches, the ex-storm will lose a lot of its vigor and that it “doesn’t have its typical tropical features in terms of strength.”