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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Charlestown weather health and safety warning

The downside to beautiful weather

By Will Collette

Of our twelve seasons (see graphic, left), I really love spring. The birds are chirping, the trees are budding and my crocuses and daffodils are flowering.

But like most good things, there are some consequences of this fine weather that we need to heed. 

Two such consequences present themselves for the next several days. The National Weather Service is forecasting mostly sunny days and no rain at least through next Saturday.

So, first, these are perfect conditions for high pollen counts, as reflected in the pollen forecast from for Charlestown. Tree pollen is the main problem.

If you have seasonal allergies and plan to spend a lot of time outside, maybe doing yard work, here's a tip to keep you from coughing and wheezing later. 

Since just about everyone has at least one face mask, you can re-purpose it to keep from inhaling pollen. I suggest you use one with a fine filter or two layers, not just a simple cloth mask, although that will probably do you some good.

Second, we are at high risk for brush fires. The National Weather Service has put out this alert:

Dry weather, sunshine, very low humidity and northwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 20 mph at times is expected across most of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, excluding Cape Cod and the Islands. All these parameters suggest elevated fire weather potential, especially from late morning through the afternoon. These conditions may linger into Monday and Tuesday. Therefore stay tuned to later forecasts and discussions.

Though this alert extends until Tuesday, the weather forecast suggests this warning will apply to the whole week. This is probably not the time to burn leaves and brush from your yard clean-up. You should check in with the Charlestown Fire District before you set any open fires.