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Spring temperatures could jumpstart allergies in the metro this weekend


After snowfall on Thursday, temperatures are expected to rise into the 40s Saturday.

And forecasters say temperatures could hit 60 degrees on Sunday in the metro.

As for allergies, some forecasts show this allergy season could be tougher than usual after an exceptionally long, cold, snowy winter.

FOX 9 reports that since trees pollinate better in cold weather, the amount of moisture from melting snow could amplify mold allergies.

But Minnesota may get off easier than some other states.

Forecasters with The Weather Channel say the Northeast and Southeast could be hit hardest by spring allergies this year.

Allergist Neil Kao, M.D., says in the Southeast, where oaks and maples are plentiful, the warmer air and intermittent rain that typically accompanies spring create ideal conditions for rapid tree growth.

West of the Mississippi, trees are typically not as plentiful, and the climate is not as conducive to sudden outbreaks of pollen.

Some forecasters predict the allergy season may have a delayed start in the northeast this year as cold temperatures persist.

David Shulan, M.D., and a certified allergy and asthma consultant in Albany, says if allergy season is delayed, it could easily rebound.

"When it does hit, it can be sudden and hard," Shulan says.

Studies have found emergency room visits spike during spring pollen season.

And for people with pollen-triggered asthma, researchers have found thunderstorms can make things worse.

A recent study in the journal Allergy described how wind in thunderstorms carries pollen grains at ground level that can get into the lower part of the airway, sending high numbers of asthma patients to hospitals for the treatment of asthma attacks.

Here are some of the tips WCCO offers for Minnesotans this spring:

– Change clothes immediately after spending time outdoors.

– Shower to rinse pollen from body and hair.

–Use air conditioning to filter air indoors.

– Keep car windows closed.

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Snow could brush the metro this weekend

Kare 11's Sven Sundgaard says a snowstorm might brush the Twin Cities this weekend, with the southeastern suburbs seeing 1 to 3 inches while just a few flakes dust the northwestern burbs. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen and the Star Tribune's Paul Douglas are bringing us similar forecasts.