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Alder pollen concentrations in the air during snowfall

Kasprzyk, I., Borycka, K.
International journal of biometeorology 2019 v.63 no.12 pp. 1651-1658
Alnus, air, bioclimatology, databases, hypersensitivity, pollen, snow, temperature, Belarus, Ukraine
The focus of our study was airborne alder pollen because it is one of the main causes of inhalant allergies in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere. The main research setback was pollen concentrations during snowfall. Analyses from a 21-year database showed that the hourly patterns of occurrence of airborne Alnus pollen during snowfall differ. Snowfall can cause a decrease in pollen concentrations in the air that may persist for several hours. However, during the snowfall period of 2018, an increase in pollen concentrations was observed. High temperatures during the days preceding snowfall stimulate thermal currents, and pollen could become airborne. During snowfall, airborne pollen grains are supposedly washed out of the atmosphere and numerous pollen grains are deposited on the snow surface. Hypotheses about the long-distance transport of pollen have also been verified. Back-trajectory analysis has revealed that air masses from Belarus and Ukraine were transported to Rzeszow. We found that the influence of snowfall on pollen concentrations is ambiguous and individuals prone to allergies also notice symptoms on days with snowfall and temperatures below zero.