Despite increasing local and national media coverage of the red tide bloom south of our Gulf beaches, the coast of Pinellas County is still free of red tide and the forecast over the next couple days remains complicated at best.

The current red tide status update for Pinellas County shows red tide concentrations ranging from not present and background to low levels.  NOAA’s tides and currents forecast suggests that Pinellas County will likely not be affected by the red tide at least through tomorrow thanks to wind and water currents, but with the right conditions could make the leap to Pinellas County.

Red tide is caused by a naturally occurring algae in the Gulf of Mexico and a bloom happens whenever there is a higher-than-normal concentration. The higher levels south of our area have led to large fish kills, strong odors and breathing difficulties.

To monitor the red tide situation, here are some useful links:

Pinellas County Red Tide Update

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

NOAA Harmful Algae Bloom Observing System