Denmark’s pollen season underway earlier than expected

One of Denmark’s main pollen plagues, birch pollen, has arrived two weeks earlier than normal.

Denmark's pollen season underway earlier than expected
File photo: Bax Lindhardt/Ritzau Scanpix

Although the birch pollen season does not usually begin until mid-April, pollen counters began registering the grains during last weekend, when weather was unusually warm for the time of year.

The early start to the pollen season is linked to a mild spring and a sudden increase in temperature, according to Astma-Allergi Danmark, which issued a press statement after the weekend’s pollen counts.

The count reached as high as 31 in the west of the country by the end of last weekend, but was as low as 3 in Copenhagen.

“It’s still difficult to predict how the season will take shape, but if the weather continues with sun and warm temperatures, we can expect high pollen counts. We have already had record-high amounts of alder and hazel this spring,” Andrea-Pil Holm, a biologist who is responsible for the pollen counts, said in a press statement.

“On the other hand, cold weather and rain could set pollen levels back a bit,” Holm added.

Although weather patterns have since brought cooler air back to the country, forecasts currently suggest that warmer days could return next week.

Birch pollen is one of the worst culprits for people with pollen allergies.

An analysis has found that over half of the around one million people in Denmark who have pollen allergies are affected by it.

Pollen counts indicate the amount of pollen in the air at a given moment: in the case of birch, the level is low if the measurement is under 30; moderate if between 30 and 100, and high when over 100.

The country’s highest ever birch pollen counts were recorded on April 21st, 2014, with 4,696 in Copenhagen and 2,526 in Viborg.

Despite these relatively large values, a count of 100 is considered high because that is enough to provoke a reaction in all allergy sufferers.

READ ALSO: Weather news from Denmark

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How much will it snow in Denmark this weekend?

Winter weather arrived in spectacular fashion to coincide with the beginning of December this week. The weekend could bring more snow to parts of the country but probably less disruption than recent days.

Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December.
Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Recent snowstorms disrupted North Jutland in particular and Denmark in general, and more cold weather can be expected this weekend albeit severe, according to forecasts.

“We won’t see the Ragnarok-like weather we’ve seen in some places recently again this weekend, but it’s now winter weather and it has also snowed in several places overnight,” said meteorologist Frank Nielsen of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Early December blizzards disrupt Denmark

Cold weather on Friday and a low front across the North Sea will bring clouds and precipitation across Denmark from the west, Nielsen said.

That will materialise as cold rain or sleet in many areas but probably snow in North Jutland, he said.

“There could be between five and ten centimetres of snow north of the Limfjord,” the meteorologist said, referring to the waterway that cuts across the northern part of Jutland, including main regional city Aalborg.

“In the southern part of the country, an equivalent five to ten centimetres of rain could fall,” he added.

Friday’s temperature will be between freezing point and five degrees Celsius, with the north of the country falling in to the lower end of that range and the south the warmer end.

Mist and fog is forecast this evening, caused by various weather fronts moving over Denmark.

That could still be felt on Saturday morning, though it is likely to be a little warmer at 2-6 degrees Celsius. Mild winds could make that fell chiller, but snow is unlikely.

Sunday will see the temperature drop again, to 0-4 degrees Celsisu. Snow is possible, particularly on eastern coasts.

Strong winds in the east of the country and along the coasts will result in a “rather cold 24 hours,” Nielsen said.

Nighttime temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout the weekend. Motorists are therefore warned to be alert to icy road surfaces.