Federal officials will begin issuing forecasts Friday of red tides harmful blooms of algae, in the Gulf of Mexico. The forecasts will be issued at least twice weekly and will be sent to local coastal managers in the Gulf states, who will issue any needed public advisories.
Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will issue the forecasts.
Red tides in the Gulf are caused by the toxic algae Karenia Brevis. They can cause fish kills, force closure of shellfish beds, kill dolphins and manatees and cause respiratory distress in people.
These toxic blooms have occurred along the coasts of all five Gulf states, including Alabama, and take place nearly every year on the Gulf coast of Florida.
The forecasts are developed using information from commercial and government satellites, meteorological observing stations and field data collected by state and university monitoring programs.
On the Net:
NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Project:
NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science: