The spring allergy season is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time to stock up on tissues, nasal spray and anything else you use to beat the incoming “pollen vortex.” A few factors, including the mostly mild winter thus far and the presence of El Niño, could mean that the 2016 spring allergy season will be bigger and badder than previous years.

“In any year with an El Niño phenomenon, we expect certain areas of the country, particularly in the South, to be plagued by lots of rainfall and precipitation,” Dr. Clifford Bassett, founder and medical director at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York told “Each year it’s different. If you look at the aero biology, you have a lot of different pollen areas. There’s a lot of cities [in the South] that are hit hard each year during the spring allergy season.”

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