May 20, 2016

Unique pollen forecast service from Finland

Currently, the application provides forecasts on birch pollen, but in the near future it will be expanded to include alder, hay and mugwort.
Currently, the application provides forecasts on birch pollen, but in the near future it will be expanded to include alder, hay and mugwort.
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The University of Turku’s Aerobiology Unit has developed a unique application that allows users to check the pollen status in nearby areas.

The Norkko mobile app developed by Finnish researchers allows people with allergies to check the pollen count based on their location. Norkko also forecasts the pollen status for the next two days with a precision of two hours at its best. In addition, the zone maps show the average pollen count for the whole of Finland.

According to the University of Turku, Norkko is the world’s most precise pollen forecast app. Currently, the application provides forecasts on birch pollen, but in the near future it will be expanded to include alder, hay and mugwort.

“With regard to birch, this service is truly reliable and, of the services currently available worldwide, the most precise in terms of both time and place,” Annika Saarto, Head of the Aerobiology Unit, told Yle.

The service brings together up-to-date pollen observations, a nation-wide pollen measurement network with its observational data gathered over 40 years and the Meteorological Institute’s pollen dispersion models.

According to Saarto, the SILAM pollen dispersion model developed by Finnish researchers is considered to be genuinely the best in Europe.

The service could also be exported outside of Finland: in Saarto’s view, the first export destinations could be Finland’s neighbouring countries in which the conditions are more or less the same as in Finland.

The Norkko app was developed together with the Meteorological Institute with funding from the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes.

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