Pollen Seasons Beyond Spring: Using Pollen Data to Guide Businesses Year-Round

June 14, 2024
2 min read
Pollen Seasons Beyond Spring: Using Pollen Data to Guide Businesses Year-RoundPollen Seasons Beyond Spring: Using Pollen Data to Guide Businesses Year-Round
Content Lead

When we hear the words ‘pollen season,’ the first images that often come to mind are picturesque scenes of colorful spring flowers and pleasant, warm temperatures. While it's true that spring is a significant contributor to pollen season, the reality is that this phenomenon extends far beyond the blossoming of flowers. Pollen season is a complex and year-round occurrence that affects millions of people worldwide.

Here’s what pollen season looks like over the course of a year in North America

Peak Pollen Calendar
Peak Pollen Calendar

Spring: February - May

The arrival of spring often brings sneezes, itchy eyes, breathing difficulties, and skin allergies, all thanks to trees and their pollen. The microscopic nature of pollen renders it invisible in the air, leaving us oblivious to the start of the season until the onset of symptoms. These allergies are often triggered by plants that disperse their pollen through the wind and find their way into our eyes, noses, mouths, and skin.

Summer: May - June

Late spring and the onset of early summer bring with them a specific set of allergy challenges, primarily revolving around grass pollen. These grasses start their pollination journey in May, reaching their peak towards the end of the month and continuing through the initial weeks of June.


The hot, dry weather in July offers a brief break for those affected by pollen allergies. Trees and grasses cease their pollination activities during this period and the dearth of rain results in relatively low mold spore counts. The pollination process of fall plants is yet to start.

Fall: August - November

With the advent of fall, weed pollination stages a comeback, with a resurgence of allergy symptoms or ‘hay fever.’ These fall allergy symptoms are primarily attributable to ragweed pollen and several other weed plants. As autumn progresses, mold spore counts tend to surge, particularly with the shedding of leaves and the demise of plants. Engaging in gardening with mulch or soil, farming activities, or hiking in wooded areas can heighten exposure to mold spores during this season.

Winter: December - January

The sole allergen of concern during winter is mold. Mold flourishes best when temperatures hover above freezing and the environment is damp, often following rainfall. During warmer spells in winter, mold spore counts can experience temporary surges, which might catch mold-allergic individuals off guard.

Now you must be wondering: if each pollen type has a designated season, what's the problem?

Climate Change! 

Climate change has a significant impact on pollen seasons, leading to several effects, most notable being prolonged, intensified, and altered pollen seasons. Rising temperatures and increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere can stimulate plants to produce more pollen and for longer durations. This can extend the duration and intensity of pollen seasons, leading to more prolonged periods of discomfort for allergy sufferers. 

Climate change can also disrupt the traditional timing of pollen seasons. Warmer winters can prompt plants to start pollinating earlier in the year, catching people off guard and exacerbating allergy symptoms.

The impact: With extended pollen seasons, individuals with allergies face longer exposure periods, increasing their overall allergy-related health risks. Prolonged and intense pollen seasons can contribute to a higher incidence of asthma and allergic respiratory conditions, as individuals with mild allergies may develop more severe symptoms. Altered pollen seasons make it challenging for healthcare providers to accurately diagnose and treat allergies, as traditional pollen calendars may no longer apply.

Let's shine a spotlight on another challenge: El Niño.

And yes, there's a clear connection between El Niño and the prolonged pollen seasons. 

El Niño is a climate phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. While its primary impacts are related to weather and climate patterns, El Niño can indirectly affect pollen seasons in various ways. 

  1. Changes in Weather Patterns: El Niño tends to bring about shifts in weather patterns, such as increased rainfall in some areas and droughts in others. These changes can influence the timing and intensity of plant growth and flowering, which, in turn, can affect pollen production.

  1. Altered Temperature and Precipitation: Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation associated with El Niño can promote the growth of certain plants, leading to higher pollen production. 

  1. Extended Growing Seasons: In some regions, El Niño can lead to longer growing seasons for plants. This extended period of growth can result in an extended pollen season, with more pollen being released over a longer duration.

Now that El Niño has been declared by NOAA, it is expected to make a much stronger impact than it did before. Again, all thanks to climate change.  

2016 was the warmest year on record due to the combination of the two, and since then, the climate has only gotten worse. El Niño is expected to bring a more intense pollen season and increase the symptoms of allergies among vulnerable populations. 

Watch our video about the impact of El Niño on seasonal allergies.

How about we add another challenge to the mix? Let's talk about urbanization.

By 2050, it's expected that 68% of the world's population will reside in cities. That’s a lot of people. This leads to increased pollution and allergies. For instance, in Uganda, it was found that urban areas have double the rates of asthma and allergic rhinitis compared to rural areas.  A major contributor to this issue is air pollution, which directly impacts pollen grains and heightens our susceptibility to allergies.

High pollution levels on the ground make it easier for even smaller amounts of pollen to trigger allergies. Urban environments also create heat islands, which are significantly warmer than rural areas. These warmer conditions cause trees and plants to produce more pollen, extending the allergy season.

Learn more about pollen-caused diseases an expert’s POV. 

What can healthcare and pharma businesses do to adapt to these changing situations? 

The answer is quite simple: Instead of waiting for pollen season to begin, take proactive steps and plan in advance. Stay prepared for all seasons and stay one step ahead of the pollen. 

And the key to doing that is pollen data. 

Pollen data can help businesses with:

  • Analyzing and understanding pollen trends to understand seasonal variations.
  • Developing predictive models that use historical pollen data, weather patterns, and climate change projections to forecast pollen levels and provide advanced warnings to allergy sufferers.
  • Creating interactive pollen maps that allow users to visualize pollen levels and identify areas with lower pollen concentrations for outdoor activities.
  • Integrating pollen data into electronic health records and healthcare systems, enabling personalized treatments based on patients' local pollen exposure.
  • Creating products, such as wearable devices or smartphone accessories, that can measure local pollen levels and provide users with real-time data and recommendations.
  • Forecasting long-term pollen trends based on climate change projections. This information can assist healthcare professionals, and policymakers in planning for future healthcare needs.

To encapsulate, pollen data api offers diverse business opportunities, from predictive models and interactive maps to healthcare integration and wearable tech innovation. Moreover, long-term pollen trend forecasts derived from climate change projections aid healthcare professionals and policymakers in making informed decisions for the future. These diverse uses underscore the versatility and significance of pollen data for businesses and healthcare professionals alike.

Suggested Read: How Can Pollen Data Revolutionize The Digital Healthcare Industry?

Need pollen data for your business?

Ambee provides hyperlocal real-time, forecast, and historical pollen data. To explore how our pollen offerings can elevate your products to the next level, don't hesitate to contact us.

Have questions?
Get in touch!
Request submitted.
Our team will get in touch with you shortly!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.