AIR QUALITY FORECAST
Air quality on the Isle of Wight is often a lot better than elsewhere in the UK due to the winds frequently blowing from the Atlantic Ocean and making their way up the English Channel. However we do see occasional spells of poor air quality, usually due to stagnant air sitting over the UK from a large anticyclone (high pressure area) or sometimes from Central and Southern Europe when the winds blow in from the East or Southeast.
We rate the air as GOOD, MODERATE, UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS, UNHEALTHY, VERY UNHEALTHY, although we rarely reach “unhealthy” levels here on the island.
We believe that a Pollen Forecast is an essential part of any forecasting system as around 20% of islanders suffer with Pollen Allergies to some degree! However, our Forecast is rather unique as it covers 6 different areas (5 coastal locations and 1 “inland” area), this means that you can usually find an area on the island to bring you relief.
A MONTH BY MONTH GUIDE TO POLLEN TYPES
Pollen levels vary throughout the season, this can be due to many things including wind strength and direction, temperature, humidity, whether it is cloudy or sunny as well as the time of year.
On our island the Pollen season usually starts sometime in mid/late March although during a mild winter it can start as early as late February.
MARCH is usually an OK month for pollen allergy sufferers although as the month goes on we start to see an amount of weed pollen combined with increasing amounts of tree pollen.
APRIL is another tree pollen month, in fact can be quite a bad time for pollen allergy sufferers, especially towards the end of the month. We also see a moderate amount of weed pollen but this drops off slowly as the month goes on. Rapeseed often starts to show itself early in the month too and this can reach high levels by the end of the month.
MAY is a rather mixed month for pollen with both tree pollen (albeit starting to wane) along with increasing amounts of grass pollen. Rapeseed is often out until at least mid month in most years.
JUNE still sees moderate amounts of tree pollen to start the month although falling rather quickly as the month goes on but grass pollen can be extremely high, this includes crops such as wheat, oats etc. We also start to see weed pollen coming back in to play, with plants such as Nettle producing significant amounts.
JULY sees tree pollen levels drop significantly but grass pollen is still high and this combined with increasing amounts of weed pollen can give sufferers another allergy filled month.
AUGUST sees grass pollen dramatically drop but weed pollen is now reaching its maximum, especially around the middle of the month.
SEPTEMBER sees another month of weed pollen, possibly at its height early in the month if the summer has been cold and wet.
OCTOBER is a much less problematic month with weed pollen dropping off significantly as the month goes on, although in some years the weed pollen may linger on until the end of the month, but this only happens if the summer has been very poor.
This Pollen Calendar was written for the Isle of Wight only. Other areas in Southern England often see Pollen peaks at slightly different times throughout the season. The information is based upon a mixture of national statistics, visual observations and photographic evidence.