Published Jun 09, 2022 in independent.co.uk
Author by Tom Batchelor
A high pollen count mixed with thunderstorms will trigger a weather phenomenon called “thunder fever” this week, causing problems for allergy sufferers, forecasters have warned.
The combination of warm weather, strong winds and thundery downpours brought to the UK as a result of the now-downgraded tropical storm Alex are to blame for the conditions expected to affect the country in the coming days.
Thunder hayfever is triggered by large amounts of tiny pollen particles which are released into the air during thunderstorms.
Forecaster Jo Farrow said: “Very hot weather followed by thunder, lightning and heavy downpours can lead to severe allergic reactions.
“Well into the summer with very warm air over the UK, grass and weed pollen and also fungal spores in the air and air pollution, episodes of thunderstorm hayfever or thunderstorm asthma can occur.
“The symptoms are more extreme, and in other parts of the world, such as Australia, thunderstorms have resulted in major incidents as the atmospheric conditions came together and so many people were affected.
“Thunderstorms often appear after long, dry spells resulting in plenty of pollen about to stir up.”
The Met Office is forecasting “very high” pollen counts over the weekend and into next week.
Commenting on the prospect of the rare “thunder fever” weather phenomenon being felt in the UK this week, airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg said: “With this fine weather thunderstorms are also predicted, and they can bring problems for hay fever sufferers.
“Very high pollen counts are predicted across many parts of England from Thursday onwards causing havoc for the millions of hay-fever sufferers in the UK.
In 2016, eight people died in the Australian city of Melbourne from thunderstorm asthma, after heavy rains and winds triggered thousands of pollen allergy asthma attacks.