While much of the nation gears up for temperatures topping 20C on Monday, the high tree pollen count may signal a day of suffering inside for ten million hay fever sufferers.
The warm and dry conditions, combined with a light breeze, could lead to the dispersal of up to a month’s worth of birch pollen. Tree pollens come earlier in the year than grass, which is the most common cause of hay fever. The Met Office pollen forecast is set at high for much of the country.
“Prevention is better than cure when it comes to hay fever,” says Neal Patel of the Royal Pharmaceutical Association. “It’s about reduced exposure to pollen: stay inside, shut your doors, and if you do go out, be sure to wear sunglasses. And avoid the beginning and end of day when pollen levels tend to be higher.”
Elsewhere, it was mud getting up people’s noses. Over 14,000 took part in the Tough Mudder event in Kettering on Saturday, tackling a 12-mile course of icy pools, greased walls and electrified wires.
Much of the nation spent the weekend enjoying temperatures in the high teens – as hot as Menorca. The sun was all the more welcome following an unusually long and cold winter. The good weather is forecasted to hold for the beginning of the week before showers across most of the country on Wednesday. Later in the week, there is a risk of gales in central parts of Wales, the north of England and into the midlands.
“We do get changeable conditions at this time of year,” said a Met Office spokesperson. “What is unusual is that we get the best weather on the bank holiday!”