J Korean Med Assoc.  2009 Jun;52(6):579-591. 10.5124/jkma.2009.52.6.579.

Development of Pollen Concentration Prediction Models

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Korea.
  • 2Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Diseases, Committee of Pollen Study, Korea. jaewonoh@hanyang.ac.kr


Air-borne pollen is known as one of the major causal agents to respiratory allergic reactions. The daily number of pollen grains was monitored using Burkard volumetric spore traps at eight locations including Seoul and Jeju during 1997-2005. Pollen grains were observed throughout the year especially from February to November. They showed similar distribution patterns of species among locations except Jeju, where Japanese cedar vegetation is uniquely found. The peak seasons for pollen grains from trees, grasses, and weeds were from March to May, May to September, and August to October. Tree pollens were mainly composed of pine, oak, alder, and birch. Weed pollens were mainly from Japanese hop, sagebrush, and ragweed. The diameter of pollen grains, which has a typical range of 20~60 micrometer, has close relationship with allergenicity. The allergenicity of trees and weed pollens is higher than that of grass pollens in general. Daily fluctuations in the amount of pollens have to do with a variety of meteorological factors such as temperature, rainfall, and the duration of sunshine. Temperature and rainfall are especially decisive in determining pollen concentrations. Ten weather elements that are thought to affect the concentration of pollens are used to develop equations for the pollen forecasts. Predictive equations for each pollen species and month are developed based on statistical analyses using observed data during the last 5 years in Seoul through a co-work with the Committee of Pollen Study in Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Diseases and National Institute of Meteorological Research.


Allergy; Pollen; Prediction model

MeSH Terms

Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Meteorological Concepts


  • Figure 1 Monthly distribution of pollen counts: (A) all, (B) trees, (C) grasses, and (D) weeds.

  • Figure 2 Distribution of pollen counts of individual trees and weeds species (1998~2002).

  • Figure 3 Distribution of daily pollen counts according to temperature and precipitation in Seoul (1997~2002).

  • Figure 4 Surface weather chart at (A) 00UTC, (B) 03UTC, (C) 06UTC, (D) 09UTC, (E) 12UTC, (F) 15UTC, (G) 18UTC and (H) 21UTC 13 May 2004.

  • Figure 5 Distribution of allergenicity for (A) trees, (B) grasses, and (C) weeds based on daily observed pollen counts in Seoul (1997~2002).

  • Figure 6 Observed (blue) and predicted (pink) pine pollen counts in Seoul (A: April and B: May 2005).

  • Figure 7 Observed (blue) and predicted (pink) tree except pine pollen counts in Seoul (A: April and B: May 2005).

  • Figure 8 Observed (blue) and predicted (pink) weed pollen counts in Seoul (A: September and B: October 2004).

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