Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring System
Southwest Florida Intensification Forecast
The Southwest Florida Intensification Forecast provides technical information to coastal managers on Karenia brevis (red tide) bloom intensification along the southwest Florida coast. During the early bloom (typically each fall), Karenia brevis (red tide) cells, which persist in the offshore bottom waters, can be moved onshore to the Southwest Florida coast by a process known as coastal upwelling. Once near the coast, Karenia brevis cells can quickly reach levels that create a harmful algal bloom (HAB). The intensification forecast can help minimize impacts to public health and coastal economies by providing advanced warning of HAB intensification to coastal managers along the southwest Florida coast during the fall.
This forecast is used during the fall. During the fall, upwelling increases the likelihood of development and intensification of Karenia brevis "red tide" blooms. Once the bloom has fully developed in late fall or winter, Karenia tends to stay near the surface and upwelling no longer promotes the bloom. There is not currently a model to capture reintensification during the winter or spring.