A recent report from the University of South Florida’s Optical Oceanography Lab has good news for Florida residents concerned about the massive seaweed bloom that was expected to hit earlier this year. According to the report for October, there was an estimated .15 million metric tons of sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean Sea throughout the month, and much of it had dissipated by the end of October. There was also very little sargassum overall in the Gulf of Mexico, and nearly half of the sargassum in the Central Atlantic was situated west of the African coast.
The decrease in sargassum size is a positive development, as scientists were worried about its potential impact on Florida beaches earlier this year. The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, a mass of seaweed stretching from Africa to the Gulf of Mexico, caused concern when researchers indicated that minimal sargassum will be present in all regions in November.
Scientists are closely monitoring the situation and believe that if there is going to be a new sargassum bloom for 2024, the first indications will appear in December. This news means that Florida beaches are less likely to be affected by this toxic seaweed and people can enjoy their time on the beach without worrying about any negative impacts.
The latest report and updates on the sargassum situation can be found on the University of South Florida’s website. For more information on this topic, you can watch an episode of “Talk to Tom” in which Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells discusses the sargassum belt with one of the researchers studying