Increased occurrences of harmful algal blooms (HAB) in the Gulf of Mexico, and even worldwide, yield concern for increases in brevetoxin exposure leading to respiratory illness or even death, highlighting the need for extensive scientific research and human health monitoring. It is known that major events such as tropical storms and hurricanes are followed by periods of increased red tides caused by HABs; however, the nature by which phytoplankton blooms proliferate following major events remains a topic of great interest and research. The impact of Hurricane Michael on October 10, 2018 on HABs in the Florida panhandle was examined by analyzing data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in coordination with Normalized Fluorescence Line Height (nFLH) data from the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. Results presented here demonstrate four phases of HABs during storm events: 1. Pre-storm concentrations, 2. Decreased concentration during the storm, 3. Elevated concentrations following the storm and 4. Recovery period. This time frame can serve to be important in understanding the health dynamics of coastal systems following major storm events.
Impact of Hurricane Michael on October 10, 2018 on algal blooms in the Florida panhandle was examined.
Four phases of HABs during storm events were found.
This time frame can serve to be important in understanding the health dynamics of coastal systems following a hurricane.