Red tide beach hazard warning issued for coastal Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee counties

USF red tide map

(WFLA) — If you had planned a beach day on Thursday, you may want to reconsider. The National Weather Service has issued a red tide beach hazard warning for the coastal areas of Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Florida red tide conditions can cause respiratory irritation, according to the NWS. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing and tearing eyes. People with respiratory conditions like asthma, emphysema and other pulmonary diseases may be more sensitive.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting that red tide will impact the bay regions of southern Pinellas County, northern and southern Manatee County and northern Sarasota County.

NOAA defines red tide as a harmful algae bloom (HAB) that grows out of control and produces harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds. Toxins can kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat.

NOAA says that Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to one of the most best known HABs.

Mote Marine in Sarasota has more information about red tide in Florida.

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