Hay fever warning as storms set to spark 'super pollen' surge across Britain
The UK could be battered by "unseasonably" strong winds this week as ex-tropical storm Alex brings 45mph gusts
Hayfever sufferers across the UK have been warned to brace for an excessively high pollen count, as thunderstorms will trigger a weather phenomenon known as "thunder fever".
Ex-tropical storm Alex is set to batter parts of the UK, with 45mph winds predicted across parts of southern and eastern England.
"Medium" pollen counts are expected across southern and eastern England, before an onslaught of high winds tomorrow, which will raise levels to "very high".
Levels will be "low" in Scotland, "medium" in Northern Ireland and "high" in Wales.
Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg, founder of the HayMax allergn barrier balm, said: "With this fine weather thunderstorms are also predicted, and they can bring problems for hayfever sufferers".
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Wiseberg added: "Very high pollen counts are predicted across many parts of England from Thursday onwards causing havoc for the millions of hay-fever sufferers in the UK. Predicted thunderstorms won't give respite, as instead they can cause a phenomenon known as 'thunder fever."
Citing a report from The European Respiratory review which found humidity breaks pollen grains into smaller allergenic particle, which has been classified as "super pollen".
He continued: "'This appears to be more allergenic than normal pollen, causing more severe reactions in sufferers.
"Storms bring pollen grains down which might have otherwise risen above head height out of harm's way and whipping up pollen grains and fungal spores near the ground."
A cocktail of pollen will be present throughout the atmosphere, causing sufferers to face classic symptoms of sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, and itchy or red eye and throat.
Spokesman for the Met Office, Oli Claydon said "The wind is the main part of the story - unseasonably strong winds for the time of year. We could see gusts of up to 45mph through Friday.
"Those sorts of wind speeds will be fairly confined to the far north-west of the UK, but as the low pressure goes over the north of the UK through Saturday, a wider area of the north of the UK could see those sorts of wind speeds.
"It will be windy everywhere across the UK, but the further south you go, the less influence the low pressure will have."