Ask Heather - why allergies are bad in East Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In this week's "Ask Heather", Brock wanted to know what weather and geographic conditions make Knoxville one of the worst places for allergies.

The Southeast is home to many of the top cities for the worst allergies.

There are several elements that keep Knoxville and East Tennessee fairly high on that list.

We have high concentration of trees, grass, flowers, and weeds. They assortment all contributes to that pollen count for roughly three quarters of the year.

Local environmental factors, light wind, high humidity, and the warmer temperatures are great for all the plants and make that pollen count greater.

These factors play into a longer growing season. In the south, tree pollen kick-in in the Spring, then the Summer it's mostly grass pollen, then late Summer through the Fall it's the weeds. Ragweed is a big allergy-trigger for many.

Pollen thrives in high humidity. Which also means, the morning hours is when the pollen count is the highest. So, if you have some yard work to do but have bad allergies, try to do it in the evenings when the humidity is at its lowest.

The terrain of East Tennessee also encourages pollen and air pollutants to settle in the Valley. Winds can often get "stuck" in the Valley, as they reach the mountains and can't get over the higher elevation, causing the wind and what it's carrying to drop back into the Valley.

Remember, you can always "Ask Heather" your weather-related questions by using the form here on under the weather tab.

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