Plants Are in Bloom, Kicking Allergy Season into Gear — And It’s Only February

Feb 16, 2023

Spring Temperature Outlook 2023

Plants and trees are blooming in the US South and Southeast, signaling one of the earliest springs ever on record, scientists say. These blooms are usually a month from now.

Cities like Houston, Nashville, and Atlanta are already seeing one of their top-10 warmest years ever. That unseasonable warmth is likely to extend to the North and Northeast, forecasters say. Some cities like Philadelphia and New York also are experiencing their warmest winter yet.

Experts say the early warmth is due to climate change . These weather shifts have an impact on plants and trees. 

“They’re responding to … the environment, … cues … the climate is giving them,” a scientist in Texas told CNN.

The early blooms already have been a problem for those with allergies. It's making allergy season worse. Plants create pollen. It’s a dust-like substance. Many people are allergic to pollen.  The director of the USA National Phenology Network told Fox News to expect a “longer, more intense pollen season.”

In fact, that’s been going on for decades, a doctor with the Allergy Asthma Network told Fox. "Because of the higher levels of carbon dioxide, the plants are producing more pollen,” he said.

As for 2023’s early warmth, this could just be the start. The El Niño weather pattern is back. That could make the final part of the year even hotter.

Based on information in the infographic, what do Florida, Texas, and Virginia all have in common? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. They all have an equal chance that their spring temperatures will be above or below their seasonal average.
b. They are all predicted to have spring temperature above their seasonal average.
c. They are all predicted to have spring temperature below their seasonal average.
d. They are experiencing their warmest winter ever.
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