International Journal of Biometeorology

, 50:233

A 30-day-ahead forecast model for grass pollen in north London, United Kingdom

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00484-005-0010-y

Cite this article as:
Smith, M. & Emberlin, J. Int J Biometeorol (2006) 50: 233. doi:10.1007/s00484-005-0010-y


A 30-day-ahead forecast method has been developed for grass pollen in north London. The total period of the grass pollen season is covered by eight multiple regression models, each covering a 10-day period running consecutively from 21 May to 8 August. This means that three models were used for each 30-day forecast. The forecast models were produced using grass pollen and environmental data from 1961 to 1999 and tested on data from 2000 and 2002. Model accuracy was judged in two ways: the number of times the forecast model was able to successfully predict the severity (relative to the 1961–1999 dataset as a whole) of grass pollen counts in each of the eight forecast periods on a scale of 1 to 4; the number of times the forecast model was able to predict whether grass pollen counts were higher or lower than the mean. The models achieved 62.5% accuracy in both assessment years when predicting the relative severity of grass pollen counts on a scale of 1 to 4, which equates to six of the eight 10-day periods being forecast correctly. The models attained 87.5% and 100% accuracy in 2000 and 2002, respectively, when predicting whether grass pollen counts would be higher or lower than the mean. Attempting to predict pollen counts during distinct 10-day periods throughout the grass pollen season is a novel approach. The models also employed original methodology in the use of winter averages of the North Atlantic Oscillation to forecast 10-day means of allergenic pollen counts.


AerobiologyGrass pollen countsLondonForecast modelsNorth Atlantic Oscillation

Copyright information

© ISB 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Pollen and Aerobiology Research UnitUniversity of WorcesterWorcesterUK