Pinellas launches first of its kind red tide air quality tool

Posted at 6:22 PM, Oct 19, 2018

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A state-of-the-art new tool launched Friday makes it easier for you to monitor air quality conditions at the beach. With red tide still lingering just off the coast of Pinellas County, the new tool will help you plan your day with new updates every three hours. 

The tool is especially important for people who suffer from asthma, COPD and other respiratory issues. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System teamed up to create the first of its kind air quality monitoring. By using water samples, wind speed/direction, and satellite imagery, the team can analyze air quality for each particular beach. 

The tool allows you to figure out the safest beach to take a morning stroll or the best area to watch an evening sunset, which is crucial because winds can shift, and make conditions vary greatly throughout the day. As well as beach to beach. 

Red tide can cause coughing, sneezing, tearing eyes, an itchy throat, wheezing and even more severe symptoms for those with asthma, COP, and other breathing issues.

Pinellas County’s new forecast will be the first of its kind in the nation. The groups hope to expand it out to the rest of the state if the program is successful. 

You can find the new tool here.