NOAA: Cooler weather won't help with red tide, but season change could

Posted at 5:00 PM, Oct 23, 2018

SUNSET BEACH, Fla. — It’s late October and the water is still that dark red tide color at some southern Pinellas County beaches.

Like many vacationers this year, Angie Smith and her family were concerned about the red tide.

"I can’t imagine that it would last that much longer just because it's been going on for so long," said daughter Ally Smith. 

Luckily it wasn’t as bad as they thought and they’ve been able to enjoy their vacation at Treasure Island Beach.

But everyone can agree that this red tide has lasted a long time. Oceanographers from NOAA say that this algae bloom actually started last October in the Gulf before making its way to shore.

So what will make this toxic algae bloom disappear? NOAA says cold weather really has no impact, but season changes do.

“What we see for a bloom to dissipate usually happens on a seasonal level with season shifts of the currents and winds that will take the bloom off shore,” said Edward Davis, Oceanographer for NOAA.

Davis says there is no way to predict the red tide changes more than five days out, but it’s rare for a bloom to last through the winter.

“We’re just as hopeful as everyone on the coast right now that this winter will dissipate it,” said Davis.