Spring forecast: Warmer, wetter in Southeast Texas
In the spring a Southeast Texan’s fancy turns to sunblock and Kleenex, with places like the Family Allergy and Asthma Center reporting a seemingly overnight spike in sniffling and sneezing.
Today marks the official end of winter, so it’s no surprise to see the pollen count zoom from zero to Zyrtec. But the size of the crowds at Dr. Russell Perry’s clinic has him calling this year’s spring outburst the “most intense” he’s experienced.
“In the five years I’ve been here in Beaumont, this is the worst I’ve seen it,” he said Tuesday.
Today’s glorious forecast notwithstanding, spring also arrives with a hint of foreboding for those familiar with Texas heat. Summer is coming.
“I would say Southeast Texas will begin to see a two- to three-degree increase every two weeks,” National Weather Service meteorologist Donald Jones said. “By the end of April, temperatures are expected to be right around 80 degrees.”
By the end of May, he added, they will be closer to 90.
Beaumont had officially recorded 2.05 inches of rain for March as of Tuesday, and Jones predicted another 1.5 inches through the end of the month to put the city about 3 inches behind the 2018 totals at this point. Still, he said, the odds have the region experiencing both a warmer and a wetter spring than normal.
The warming trend may be welcome, but it carries a high price for those with severe allergies. Itching, watery eyes, runny or stuffed-up noses, or even asthma or sinus infections could plague them for weeks to come.
“There aren’t really any avoidance measures,” Perry said. “When it comes to being allergic to something outside, the best thing to do is just limit the amount of pollen into your home. Run the air conditioning instead of opening doors and windows, shower when you get back from being outside to get that pollen off.
“But no matter what, you are eventually going to have to go outside and be in contact with what you are allergic to.”