Early warning of harmful algal blooms (HABs) enable individuals and communities to make informed decisions and support the coordination of bloom response efforts to minimize impacts.
In the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA's Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System (HAB-OFS) provides information and operational forecasts regarding the potential development, intensification, transport and associated impacts of Karenia brevis blooms. The forecasts are communicated through two main products: the HAB-OFS Conditions Reports and the Bulletins. The conditions report includes a forecast of the potential levels of respiratory irritation associated with a K. brevis bloom over the next 3-4 days, and is posted to this website twice a week after confirmation of a HAB and once weekly during the inactive HAB season. Additional bloom analysis is included in the HAB Bulletin that is emailed to a subscriber list of state and local coastal resource managers, public health officials and research scientists. How do I get the NOAA HAB Bulletin?
Harmful algal blooms of K. brevis, the organism responsible for red tide in the Gulf of Mexico, can impact the health of humans and animal life. The blooms are patchy in nature and the impacts vary by location and throughout the day depending on nearby bloom concentrations, ocean currents, surf conditions, and wind speed and direction. In addition to NOAA's forecasts, please click here to view a list of resources that provide up-to-date information about the observed, local beach conditions in Florida and Texas.
The HAB-OFS relies on satellite imagery, field observations, models, public health reports and buoy data to provide the large spatial scale and high frequency of observations required to support operational forecasts. The HAB-OFS is an ongoing project that depends on the dedication, energy, and feedback of individuals from partner agencies and numerous other organizations working on this issue in the Gulf of Mexico. For more information, please visit the Contributors & Data Providers page.
Other Sources of Gulf of Mexico HAB Status Info:
Check our Local Beach Conditions page.
View map of cell counts and environmental data.
For 24/7 medical advice about the health impacts of red tide, call your local Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).