CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Feeling the scratchy throat, runny nose, and itchy eyes? If you're thinking it's a little too early for spring allergies, you're right -- and yet, they're here.
"Yeah, it does not feel like winter at all, and it's February," Findley Merritt said. "It's very warm, and outside our window, we just always hear birds starting to chirp, which to us just signifies spring."
A look around the Queen City shows mostly leafless trees but scattered among them, are some pioneers with blooms beginning. Overall, folks have been feeling the mild winter and so have some of the plants.
"Even right after Christmas, it was mid-60s, mid-70s. So, it's been kind of strange that we haven't had an actual winter--enjoying it while it lasts," John Eskridge said.
WCNC Charlotte's Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich says the spring-like blooms are weeks early.
"This is crazy," Brad says. "In some cases, we are 20-plus days early for the plants coming out, and in some cases, this is the earliest start in 39 years."
And if you're thinking another cold snap will stop the bloom, it won't. Brad says it might slow things down, but it doesn't stop it, and really just prolongs the allergy misery.
Allergy specialists recommend that pollen-sufferers:
- Start allergy medicine early
- Stay hydrated
- Use eye drops and nasal sprays
- Use good air filters
- Shower off before bed