NOAA adds red tide alerts to Beach Hazards Statements

Feb 04, 2013

NOAA has added a new service to alert the public when red tides threaten human health at Tampa Bay area beaches. The new alert is timely since many of southwest Florida's beaches are experiencing or are under threat of red tide.

The alert is part of a broader experimental initiative NOAA's National Weather Service has been testing since June 2012, called the "Beach Hazards Statement," which also alerts the public for coastal hazards such as . The Tampa Bay weather forecast office is the first to issue the Beach Hazard Statements to provide coastal residents and visitors with information to protect their safety. NWS is partnering with NOAA's National Ocean Service to provide these alerts to the public.

"Red tides can have significant environmental impacts and threaten the health of some people," said Richard Edwing, director of NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. "Currently, the National Ocean Service forecasts harmful to give state and local organizations advanced warning and therefore more options to manage the impacts. Through this partnership with the National Weather Service, we can broaden public awareness about harmful algal blooms, their potential impacts and possible precautionary measures."

can cause acute respiratory problems for people, especially those suffering from asthma, emphysema or other chronic respiratory disorder. The Tampa Bay weather forecast office will issue a Beach Hazards Statement for red tide when its sister organization at NOAA's National Ocean Service forecasts a potential for moderate or high respiratory impacts along southwest Florida, extending from Levy County south to Lee County.

Red tide is the common term for the harmful algal bloom species, Karenia brevis. NOAA's National Ocean Service has been providing operational forecasts for harmful algal blooms of Karenia brevis in the Gulf of Mexico since 2004. The 's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla., provide NOAA with expertise and data to identify and track harmful algal blooms in the Gulf.

"Beach Hazards Statements for will be a valuable supplement to the FWC's statewide red tide status reports," said Gil McRae, director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. "We look forward to continuing to share our monitoring information with NOAA to enhance this important resource."

Beach Hazards Statements for the Tampa Bay area are found here, and will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and other systems, for broader dissemination. The public is invited to comment on the usefulness of the Beach Hazard Statements and to help NOAA evaluate whether the statements should be used in other parts of the country.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fish kills trigger red tide alerts, first responders

Oct 05, 2011

Acting on a tip from a constituent, Cameron County Commissioner Sofia Benavides recently drove out to a section of the Gulf Coast within her jurisdiction, Boca Chica Beach, between the mouth of the Rio Grande ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...