Nightly News | February 14, 2012
>>> we're back now with news about this winter that has not yet arrived far lot of people, depending on where you live in this country. a lot of folks believe something just isn't right about mother nature right about now. and while it is a welcome break far lot of folks who don't miss the snow, for others, it's kind of an early allergy season. nor night from our chief environmental foreign affairs correspondent anne thompson .
>> it is a pretty site, spring flowers and some trees already blooming in many parts of the country during unusually warm winter. but it is not a happy sound. allergy suffererers are already feeling the effects.
>> i feel like you could scratch out your throat.
>> i like the smells. doesn't make me sneeze.
>> reporter: this machine catches the pollen.
>> this will measure anything that was in the air for the previous 24 hours .
>> the lap tech then hand counts the spores seen under the microscope. instead of single digits, dr. stanley fineman says the pollen counts has reached 250.
>> last year we saw it around the 20th of february. now we're seeing it right after groundhog's day which is the second of february.
>> nationally, january was almost six degrees warmer than average. you can see the impact at georgia 's calloway gardens. patricia collins says azaleas are way ahead of schedule. when should these azaleas bloom?
>> they should bloom a month from now. 50.
>> reporter: but what if winter never comes? what happens then?
>> well, if we don't have the rain, if we don't have the cold temperatures, some plants will not bloom correctly. especially a lot of our fruit trees .
>> reporter: from a weather standpoint, it's a mixed bag says the weather channel 's jim cantore .
>> north dakota is not going to flood this year because they had below normal snow pack. in the southeast, we may have more drought, especially in georgia and florida and that could lead to more wildfires.
>> reporter: the absence of winter, filling our eyes with beauty and aggravation. anne thompson , nbc news, pine mountain , georgia .