AUSTIN - Don't shoot the messenger. It's here, y'all. Cedar fever has arrived to Central Texas.
For the first time this season, the KVUE Storm Team spotted the mountain cedar allergen on Tuesday.
The most dreaded allergen in Central Texas, mountain cedar causes mayhem to thousands of Central Texans. Common symptoms include fatigue, headaches, stuffiness and itchy eyes. Newcomers to Austin sometimes don't experience any symptoms at first, but then are pummeled years later.
Cedar fever typically peaks in late December or early January and can stick around in the air as late as March. Last year, on Dec. 29, cedar pollen levels exceeded several thousand grains per cubic meter.
How bad is this year expected to be, you ask? That highly depends on what type of weather we see this winter. Dry and windy weather will increase pollen levels, where as wet weather will decrease levels. Even though moisture can bring down cedar levels, an ice storm can kill cedar season altogether. The ice forms along the bulbs of the cedar tree and weighs them down. With La Nina present this winter, this could lead to a worse than normal cedar season.
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