Winter 2015: Good for business, bad for allergy sufferers

YOUNGSTOWN, Oh. (WKBN) – The first day of winter was greeted with a temperature in the 60s and plenty of sunshine. This, just three days before Christmas.

While it is highly unlikely that Youngstown-area residents will see a white Christmas, some area businesses are reaping the benefits.

The warm weather was ideal for workers at Cheap Tree Service, which took down an 80-foot piece of lumber outside of a Jewish temple on Glenwood Avenue.

“Because of the nice, sunny weather and the warm days, we didn’t have as much wind factor, was able to get in and rope everything out, got it out safely,” said Cliff Turner.

The snow plows are sitting in wait at American Beauty Landscaping, but General Manager Tom Ferguson said that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“It’s helping us with sales,” he said. “People are looking around and saying, ‘Hey, let’s do some more landscaping.’”

When the snow does hit, a dozen trucks will hit the driveways and parking lots to plow snow and spread salt. But until then, American Beauty is finding comfort in the warmer weather.

Not too many people are complaining about the weather, with the exception of allergy sufferers. This warm weather has been perfect for bringing back pollen.

Dr. Asif Kahn, an allergy and immunology doctor, has heard of higher than normal pollen counts, even in Alaska. He said he is noticing that his patients are experiencing similar conditions as they do in the spring season.

“We’re seeing people come out of the woodwork, who haven’t gotten their shots in awhile,” Kahn said.

Allergy shots provide some relief, but nothing like the first freeze, which lasts three to four days to kill off the pollen. Kahn said if the rest of the winter is as mild, spring could be a lot worse.

“It’s not going to look good for spring, because it’s going to be a perfect environment for pollen to grow a lot sooner. We could see ragweed pollen in Ohio in the first week of February, which is unheard of,” he said.

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