Birch pollen high in France and Austria – onset further north delayed


Due to warm weather the last days, pollen has developed rapidly in Southern France and Austria. But with cold weather ahead the front will move slowly northwards.

The weather forecast of March 25 predicted temperatures in Southern France and Austria 2-4 degrees colder than normal for this time of the year. But the weather is hard to predict, and instead temperatures in these areas turned out 2-4 degrees higher than normal.

Consequently, birch pollen has developed faster than our previous forecast estimated. Currently, Southern France and Austria/Hungary/the Balkans experience fairly high levels of birch pollen, as we can see in the map below.

Birch pollen 01 April 20
Birch pollen levels, 1 April 2020. Red colour means high levels, yellow moderate, dark green moderate-low and light green low levels.

Chilly ahead – slow birch pollen spread

For the next ten days, however, weather is expected to be rather chilly in Europe and much colder than what is normal at this time of the year, see the map below.

Temp diff Europe 10 Apr 20
Temperature differences from normal temperature levels, 10 Apr 2020

If the weather forecast is correct, with cold weather prevailing in Austria/Hungary, pollen levels in these areas will probably remain at today’s levels. France and Germany will also see rather cold weather, and hence the front is likely to move only slowly northwards.

Birch pollen forecast for 10 April 2020
Birch pollen forecast for 10 April 2020. Red colour means high levels, yellow moderate, dark green moderate-low and light green low levels.

Uncertainty for the British Isles

UK has not started to report pollen yet so have a bit of a blind spot there. But given the overall tendency in other places in Europe, and how pollen develops in UK in a normal year, we see it as 50/50 whether the birch pollen will start in UK and Ireland over the next ten days. In the forecast map above we have assumed that the pollen season will not set off on the British Isles during this period. However, if the weather gets warmer we are likely to see onset and potentially rapidly increasing levels also in the UK.

Follow the pollen season with Airmine

You may also be interested in our other stories on pollen in Europe. Our video showing the average development of birch pollen confirms that the birch pollen season is more or less as normal in Central Europe and delayed in the northern part of the continent.

Credits: Maps and figures created with contributions from Rasmus Moldstad Bakken.

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