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County sees brutal start to pollen season

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Just over a month after the last snowfall in Gwinnett, the county has received a new dusting -- a layer of pollen covering cars and other surfaces by the hour.

Last week's predictions of a brutal beginning to pollen season have come true, and the high temperatures have some wondering if Mother Nature skipped spring this year.

"There's one bit of good news. It'll probably bring out the azaleas in Augusta," in time for this week's Masters tournament, said Jon Richards, who runs lawrencevilleweather.com.

Monday's and Tuesday's temperatures reached into the upper 80s, and may have eclipsed a record, he said, and a high pressure area has kept the rain away for more than a week.

With March's flowers blooming late because of the recent cold and April's buds opening, the area has been awash in yellow.

A week ago, the pollen count was trending above 100, but on Tuesday the Atlanta Asthma and Allergy Clinic had the number at nearly 3,000.

"I'm relatively unscathed, but I know a lot of people are complaining," Richards said, adding that his car has taken the brunt of the dusting. "I think a little rain will certainly help."

Gwinnettians should only have to wait until Thursday for that, he said, pointing to a low pressure mass descending from the Midwest. That day, temperatures will reach a more spring-like 71 degrees, he said, and Friday should be a cool 63.