‘Pollenpocalypse’ Blankets North Carolina

(CNN) #ThePollening. It sounds like an M. Night Shyamalan horror film.

If you suffer from pollen allergies, just looking at the above photo may make you want to choke.

It was taken Monday by photographer Brandon Gilchrist, who used a drone to snap aerial pictures of the yellowish green haze blanketing Durham, North Carolina. The pollen wasn’t just coating cars and patio chairs — it was hanging thick in the air.

He called it #pollenpocalypse.

Gilchrist told CNN he was driving around when he noticed a green cloud in the air.

“It was surprising to see it up that high,” he said.

He’s seen pollen shrouds like this before in North Carolina, but from the ground it’s difficult to capture their sheer magnitude. So he sent up his drone to a get a better vantage point.

The photos look almost like they’ve been filtered on Instagram. But Gilchrist says he only lightly edited them before posting them to social media. Seen from the drone’s perspective they looked “pretty dull,” he said, so he added contrast to bump the photos back to the levels usually apparent to the naked eye and resembling how the pollen cloud looked from the ground.

Gilchrist, who has also worked as a meteorologist and storm chaser, said pollen can collect in high concentrations in the air like this depending on the amount of recent rain. Yesterday, which was “breezy and dry,” helped create the ideal conditions for pollen granules to congregate. Read more. 

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