UK weather: ‘Thunder fever’ warning as thunderstorms expected to stir up ‘super pollen’ | UK News
A combination of thunderstorms and high pollen counts will combine to create the “thunder fever” weather phenomenon for millions of people this week as the remnants of a tropical storm move in.
Ex-Tropical Storm Alex, which caused flooding in South Florida, will cross the Atlantic over the next few days into Britain.
Unusually strong winds, which forecasters said could reach up to 55 mph, and thundery showers – along with warm temperatures and high pollen counts – have triggered warnings for hay fever sufferers.
Airborne allergen expert Max Wiseberg told the Daily Star: “With this beautiful weather, thunderstorms are also expected, and they can cause problems for hay fever sufferers.
“Very high pollen counts are forecast for many parts of England from Thursday, causing havoc for the millions of hay fever sufferers in the UK.
“The forecasted thunderstorms will not give respite, as they may instead cause a phenomenon known as ‘thunder fever’.”
Thunder fever is an extreme hay fever.
The medical term for hay fever is allergic rhinitis. It kicks in when our immune system mistakes airborne particles such as pollen for a harmful pathogen that typically causes inflammation of the airways, with high levels causing constant sneezing and watery eyes.
Mr Wiseberg, creator of HayMax Allergen Barrier Balm, said: “According to a report in The European Respiratory Review, humidity breaks down pollen grains into smaller allergen particles.
“These new pollen grains turn into a kind of ‘super pollen’, and this appears to be more allergenic than normal pollen, causing more severe reactions in sufferers.
“Storms knock down pollen grains that might otherwise have risen above head height and whip pollen grains and fungal spores close to the ground.”
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Adam Thornhill said: “The path of the old storm currently appears to be brushing past the far north-west of the UK on Thursday and Friday and, although details are still being worked out. elaboration, winds could be around 45mph for most of the northern UK, with a risk of gusts above 55mph in some north-west exposed islands and coastal areas.”
The weekend appears to be a more mixed affair, with sunshine and showers in equal parts across the UK.