‘Robust’ ragweed season arrives in New Jersey
Ragweed season is a little late this year in New Jersey, but itchy eyes and runny noses are on their way.
The release of ragweed pollen — which affects about three-quarters of Americans with allergies — is occurring this week in the Garden State, and it's expected to be a "robust" season.
Heavy precipitation of late has held off the launch of the 2020 ragweed season, according to Dr. Leonard Bielory, professor of medicine, allergy, immunology and ophthalmology at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. The ragweed plants themselves, Bielory added, are significantly taller than usual in the state, also due to the excessive moisture and precipitation.
"This has been the latest onset we have seen in a while, but the peak will be quite high in the coming weeks," Bielory said.
Much of New Jersey should remain dry through the week, creating conditions conducive to continued pollination.
"This year will be a robust year due to the extreme moisture that we've had, and the delayed onset," Bielory said.
Over the past few years, the highest ragweed pollen have occurred in mid-August. Bielory predicts New Jersey's peak this year will occur by Labor Day weekend.
Ragweed is very common in New Jersey, but even if it's not in your backyard, pollen has the ability to travel miles from its source.
Ragweed pollen season stops when New Jersey gets its first frost. An ongoing study by Bielory and other experts points to a longer ragweed pollen season these days compared to many years ago, due to a changing climate.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org