At 11:33 a.m. Sunday, New Jersey's long, cold, lonely winter will finally, officially end, but one of the Garden State's foremost allergy experts said the spring sniffle season has already begun.

Dr. Leonard Bielory, professor of medicine, allergy, immunology and ophthalmology at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, said 70-plus degree temperatures in the final week of winter have helped accelerate elevated pollen counts for New Jersey's alder, cypress, and maple trees specifically.

Those trees and others will be pollinating through the end of May, Bielory said, including birch and oak, which haven't even really gotten started yet, to be followed by grasses and weeds.

92.7 WOBM logo
Get our free mobile app

So things are actually on schedule well into the summer, he said, and New Jerseyans can expect an overall intensity on par with 2021 — with one X-factor.

Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow proclaimed "snow storm season" over for the Garden State following last Saturday's precipitation, but just that late-season burst could worsen things for allergy sufferers, according to Bielory.

"We've had a lot of snow, and that amount of snow over the winter does portend, or predict, that there will be an increased amount of pollen because the ground is saturated with water," Bielory said.

Point-in-time pollen counts, such as one started by Bielory at Kean University, at his Springfield office, or on the AccuPollen app, are a resource residents can use if they know this is going to be a tough time of year.

"We really have multiple seasons of the seasonal allergies for individuals," Bielory said. "What can they do? They can actually know what's in the air."

Yet even if people know what they are allergic to, and when it peaks, they may not have settled on the most appropriate remedy for them.

"Steroidphobia" is a real thing for some, said Bielory, who revealed that non-steroidal, holistic treatments with essential oils are gaining in popularity and effectiveness.

These solutions may also be viable alternatives for those used to taking oral antihistamines, which Bielory said only go so far.

"They will have abnormalities in their tear film, and by taking an antihistamine, their eyes will become drier and more irritated so that they can't wear contact lenses, or their eyes just get irritated easily," he said.

What New Jerseyans don't have to do, Bielory said, is continue to tough it out spring after spring.

"If you have issues, for example, with just the prolonged season and you've been having them for three, four, five years, you really need to perhaps see an allergist for skin testing and consider immunotherapy," he said.

Bielory added that although adapting to an immunotherapy regimen does take time, it may also prove effective for other, non-seasonal allergies, like peanuts.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Every NJ pizza joint Barstool's Dave Portnoy has reviewed

Dave Portnoy, commonly known as El Presidente, is the founder of Barstool Sports. Somewhere along the way, he decided to start reviewing local pizzerias, and the concept took off. Here is every New Jersey pizzeria Dave has stopped in, along with the score he gave them.

2022 Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge photos

More than 6,000 people took the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 26, 2022 to raise more than $2 million for the Special Olympics New Jersey.

Best coffee shops & cafes near NJ beaches

When it comes to food, New Jersey is known for many things such as pizza and pork roll. Don't count us out when it comes to coffee.

With all the hustle and bustle involved in the average New Jersey resident's day, coffee is essential. It doesn't matter whether you're living in the cities of North Jersey or the vacation spots at the shore.

In fact, as the former owner of two Jersey shore coffee houses, Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City and the Daily Grind in Ocean Grove, I know firsthand how much people at the Jersey shore love their coffee.

With respect to that, I asked my social media following where the best coffee houses at the Jersey Shore were, especially since my two places no longer exist.

Below is what they came up with. (And see this other article for their coffee shop and cafe recommendations for Central Jersey.)

More From 92.7 WOBM