Did Hurricane Michael put an end to red tide? The jury is usually out

Experts will not know until next week whether Hurricane Michael, with its powerful winds, helped break up the toxic algae bloom in which has been plaguing Florida’s coastline for the past year.

As a general rule, increased winds can be detrimental to “red tide,” breaking This particular up in addition to bringing an end to the outbreak. although increased rainfall could bring more breeding grounds for the algae, creating a bad situation even worse.

Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday, packing winds in which hit 150 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“If we use Hurricane Katrina as a replication of what happened on the Panhandle yesterday, there are Great reasons to think in which the strong winds disrupted the the red tide,” said Serge Thomas, an associate professor inside the Department of Marine in addition to Ecological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University.

in which was the case with Katrina in 2005, which swept through the Gulf of Mexico, disrupting the algae.

The current bloom has persisted since October 2017, although intensified in addition to spread further up the Panhandle as a result of Tropical Storm Gordon in September 2018, according to NOAA.

The effects of red tide can be lethal, with the potential to kill birds, sea animals in addition to shellfish inside the affected areas. The odor also chases away beachgoers. Not to mention in which toxins released into the air can cause respiratory problems, creating some beaches less safe to visit in addition to hurting tourism inside the area. Those with chronic asthma or emphysema are at a greater risk.

Consuming filter-feeder mollusks such as oysters in addition to clams by red tide water can lead to neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. While not lethal, NSP can cause diarrhea in addition to discomfort for about three days, according to the National Oceanic in addition to Atmospheric Administration.

Red tide can also be costly in economic terms as well. Currently, the algae cause about $82 million in economic losses to the seafood, restaurant, in addition to tourism industries each year. Red tide reduces tourism, closes beaches in addition to shellfish beds, in addition to decreases the catch by both recreational in addition to commercial fisheries, according to NOAA.

As of Tuesday red tide affected over a dozen counties inside the state, stretching over 145 miles, according to the Florida Fish in addition to Wildlife Conservation Commission. High concentrations were found in Pinellas, Manatee, in addition to Palm Beach counties, in addition to offshore of Charlotte county. The less concentrated algae has been recorded in parts of Sarasota, Bay, St. Lucie, Martin in addition to Palm Beach counties.

“I think in which the wind disturbance will override the nutrients running to the coast,” Thomas said, reflecting the role Hurricane Michael can play.

Rob Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said in which Hurricane Michael was pushing the red tide offshore as This particular was approaching. Hurricanes can also cool water, creating inhospitable environments for red tide. However, he said, “we sort of have to wait in addition to see,” what the impact will be.

Keeley Belva, a NOAA spokeswoman, echoed This particular. She said, “This particular will likely be a week or so before we know more about the status.”

If Hurricane Michael is usually able to ameliorate the red tide inside the Gulf of Mexico, there’s always a chance This particular could come back by way of natural causes.

“We can have more red tides inside the future, although in which will be because of natural occurrences,” Thomas said.

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