, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 85–94 | Cite as

Examining high magnitude grass pollen episodes at Worcester, United Kingdom, using back-trajectory analysis



Trajectory analysis is a valuable tool that has been used before in aerobiological studies, to investigate the movement of airborne pollen. This study has employed back-trajectories to examine the four highest grass pollen episodes at Worcester, during the 2001 grass pollen season. The results have shown that the highest grass pollen counts of the 2001 season were reached when air masses arrived from a westerly direction. Back-trajectory analysis has a limited value to forecasters because the method is retrospective and cannot be employed directly for forecasting. However, when used in conjunction with meteorological data this technique can be used to examine high magnitude events in order to identify conditions that lead to high pollen counts.


aerobiology back-trajectory analysis grass pollen counts meteorological conditions Worcester 



The British Atmospheric Data Centre


British Aerobiology Federation


British Summer Time


European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting




Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. BADC, British Atmospheric Data Centre: 2002, BADC Trajectories – Help. Scholar
  2. BAF, The British Aerobiology Federation: 1995, Airborne Pollens and Spores: A guide to Trapping and Counting. ISBN 0-9525617-0-0Google Scholar
  3. BBC, BBC Weather Centre: 2001, The UK Year So Far – 2001: Review and Statistics. ukweather/year_review/2001_review.shtmlGoogle Scholar
  4. Cariñanos, P., Emberlin, J., Galan, C., Dominguez Vilches, E 2000Comparison of two pollen counting methods of slides from a Hirst type volumetric trapAerobiologia16339346Google Scholar
  5. D’Amato, G., Liccardi, G., D’Amato, M., Cazzola, M. 2001The role of outdoor air pollution and climatic changes on the rising trends in respiratory allergyResp. Med97606611Google Scholar
  6. DEFRA, Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs: 2004, Complete Publications and Datasets – from the June Agricultural Census. Scholar
  7. Emberlin J.: 1997, Grass tree and weed pollens. In A.B. Kay (ed), Allergy and Allergic Diseases. Vol. 2, Blackwell Science.Google Scholar
  8. Emberlin, J., Mullins, J., Cordon, J., Jones, S., Millington, W., Brooke, M., Savage, M. 1999Regional variations in grass pollen seasons in the UK, long term trends and forecast modelsClin. Exp. Allergy29347356Google Scholar
  9. Faegri K. and Iversen J.: 1992, Textbook of Pollen Analysis, John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  10. Fitter R., Fitter A. and Farrer A.: 1984, Collins Guide to the Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns of Britain and Northern Europe. Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  11. Galan, C., Emberlin, J., Dominguez, E., Bryant, R., Villamandos, F. 1995A comparative analysis of daily variations in the Gramineae pollen counts at Cordoba, Spain and London, UKGrana34189198Google Scholar
  12. Goudie A.: 1996, The Nature of the Environment, Blackwell.Google Scholar
  13. Grime J.P., Hodgson J.G. and Hunt R.: 1996, Comparative Plant Ecology. Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
  14. Hjelmroos, M. 1991Evidence of long distance transport of Betula pollenGrana30215228Google Scholar
  15. Hjelmroos, M. 1992Long-distance transport of Betula pollen grains and allergic symptomsAerobiologia8231236Google Scholar
  16. Hubbard C.E.: 1992, Grasses: A guide to their Structure, Identification, Uses and Distribution in the British Isles. Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  17. Huynen, M., Menne, B., Behrendt, H., Bertollini, R., Bonini, S., Brandao, R., Brown-Fährlander, C., Clot, B., D’Ambrosio De Nuntiis, P., Ebi, K.L., Emberlin, J., Orbanne, E.E., Galan, C., Jäger, S., Kovats, S., Mandrioli, P., Martens, P., Menzel, A., Nyenzi, B., RantioLehtimäki, A., Ring, J., Rybnicek, O., Traidl-Hoffmann., , Van Vliet, A., Voigt, T., Weiland, S., Wickman, M. 2003Phenology and Human Health: Allergic DisordersReport of a WHO meetingRome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  18. Larsson, K.A. 1993Prediction of the pollen season with a cumulated activity methodGrana32111114Google Scholar
  19. METO, Met Office: 2004, 1971–2000 Averages. Scholar
  20. ONS, Office for National Statistics: 2002, Census 2001: First results on population. Scholar
  21. Portnoy, J.M. 2004What do pollen counts meanAnn. Allergy, Asthma and Immunol93109110Google Scholar
  22. Preston C.D., Pearman D.A. and Dines T.D.: 2002, New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Sanchez Mesa, J.A., Smith, M., Emberlin, J., Allitt, U., Caulton, E. 2003Characteristics of grass pollen seasons in areas of southern Spain and the United KingdomAerobiologia19243250Google Scholar
  24. Stace C.: 1997, New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Subiza, J., Maseillo, J.M., Subiza, J.L., Jerez, M., Hinojosa, M., Subiza, E. 1992Prediction of annual variations in atmospheric concentrations of grass pollen. A method based on meteorological factors and grain crop estimatesClin. Exp. Allergy22540546Google Scholar
  26. Walker P.M.B. (ed).: 1995, Dictionary of Science and Technology. Larousse.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Pollen and Aerobiology Research UnitUniversity College WorcesterUK
  2. 2.Surveillance Data IncorporatedPlymouth MeetingPennsylvaniaUSA

Personalised recommendations