High pollen count expected after weekend rains.
Byline: Kalbe Ali
ISLAMABAD -- Rains over the weekend followed by bright sunny days are likely to give a boost to pollen releases in the region, mainly the federal capital. The high pollen count is likely to continue up to the middle of next month.
With the onset of the spring season, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has activated its pollen monitoring unit.
The unit has installed pollen monitoring devices at H-8, E-8, F-10 and G-6. The most abundant pollen types in Islamabad are from eight plant species - paper mulberry, acacia, eucalyptus, pines, grasses, cannabis, dandelion and alternaria.
Alternaria is species of fungus that can even grow indoors but this plant pathogen is a common allergen to humans.
Among all these, paper mulberry releases the highest amount of around 97pc of the total pollen count in Islamabad and its concentration touches the extreme limits of about 40,000 per cubic metre of air at the peak of the blossom season.
The Met Office stated that people suffering from asthma and respiratory diseases may experience serious consequences due to the sharp increase in pollen concentration.
Rain/thunderstorm with snowfall over the hills is expected at scattered places in the region, including Murree and the twin cities.
Rains along with gusty winds are also expected in central Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Fata, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan on Saturday and Sunday. Snowfall over the hills is expected in Malakand, Hazara divisions, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Murree and Galliyat.