2018/11/01 14:56:03
el gran chico

Sargassum Outlook November 2018 into 2019

It appears the sargassum situation continues to improve.  Here's the USF SaWS report for the end of October 2018:
 
the month of Oct 2018 showed a total Sargassum coverage of 323 km2[font="verdana; font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal"] as compared with a historical mean of 103 km2[font="verdana; font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal"] between 2011 and 2017, for the area bounded by 8 - 23°N and 89 - 58°W. Although the bloom decreased rapidly in October, the bloom extent in 2018 is still the highest during 2011-2018 for the Caribbean and the central West Atlantic. 

 

 
Below in the month-over-month data I posted a while ago to give you an even bigger picture ....
 

It's definitely trending in the positive direction.   Still hoping it bottoms out at nothing or close to nothing.   The next couple of reports will tell us a lot where 2019 is heading.

Last in Mexico Mar 12 to 19, 2019 [19th trip to MEX, 15x to RM (1998 to 2019), 9x to HMB (2006 to 2016)]
33 comments Leave a comment
dooleyrd
That definitely looks promising.  I hope it continues in that pattern.  I look forward to your next couple of reports. :) 
2018/11/02 11:24:09
9KrazyCats
Looked pretty bad on the webcam today. We did get an email from LG letting us know a new wave had come in.  Hopefully HMB isn't too bad.  We did survive our trip last time with it the piles of it. Yeah it stunk, but still so pretty against the blue water. 
2018/11/02 22:14:43
BJB
Curious..is the sargassum also heavy in the water?  Like, if you are snorkeling/swimming is it all around you?  Is the odor bad if you are sitting on the beach?
2018/11/03 13:30:33
el gran chico
is the sargassum also heavy in the water? Like, if you are snorkeling/swimming is it all around you?  Is the odor bad if you are sitting on the beach?

 
It was in June/July.  Less so to non-existent now.
2018/11/10 10:50:25
el gran chico
The end of November 2018 report from USF SaWS is much less optimistic.
 
https://optics.marine.usf.edu/projects/SaWS/pdf/Sargassum_outlook_2018_bulletin11_USF.pdf
 
In November 2018, the bloom intensity continued to decrease in the CS, but still comparable to the bloom extent in November 2015.  There is also significant amount of Sargassum abundance in the Central West Atlantic (CWA), which is similar to the situation in November 2017.

Based on the these observations, we predict that the bloom intensity in the northern CS will continue to decrease in December, while more Sargassum may be transported from the CWA to the eastern CS in the following months.
Most importantly, the large amount of Sargassum in the CWA represents an alarming signal for 2019, when the CS may experience large amount of Sargassum as early as January (similar to 2018).

 


2018/12/01 08:51:41
crunch
Almost total lack of it when we were there last week
2018/12/01 17:10:20
el gran chico
You were lucky crunch.  The past few days have looked awful on the webcam.   And it doesn't look like 2019 will be any better than 2018 at this point.  It may turn out that late October to late November is the best time to avoid it.  Still more data points required to come to any sort of conclusion on this.
2018/12/02 10:04:49
crunch
Shhhhh. Don't tell!😁
2018/12/02 17:24:03
el gran chico
End of December 2018 report is out.  Not sounding too optimistic. 
 
In December 2018, the bloom intensity in the Caribbean Sea (CS) continued to decrease slightly from November, but the amount of Sargassum in the Central West Atlantic (CWA) increased slightly from November, which also represented a historical record for the month of November. Following the dominant ocean currents, the CWA Sargassum will be transported to the northeastern Caribbean in the following months. Meanwhile, the southern Caribbean (including coastal waters off Venezuela, Barbados, and Trinidad) may be largely free of Sargassum. While it is too early to predict the bloom situation in spring and summer 2019, if the current CWA condition continues to end of January, it is likely that 2019 may be another major bloom year (similar to 2018) for the CS.

2018/12/31 12:19:33
Gatos Padres
Planning to be in Akumal and PDC areas the second week of March 2019.  Can anyone give a report on sea grass conditions for this month or January?  Does anyone know if the new vacuum systems the government began using last year are having any effect and are the machines being deployed in the Riviera Maya area below Cancun and above Tulum?  Thanks all.  
2019/02/03 14:01:27
el gran chico
End of January 2019 report is out.
 
In Jan2019, similar blooms as in Jan2018 appeared in the CS and the Central West Atlantic (CWA). In the following months, it is likely that the CWA Sargassum will continue to be transported to the CS through the entire Lesser Antilles islands, especially from Guadeloupe to Trinidad.Indeed, significant Sargassum beaching has been reported in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Barbados. Sargassum beaching along the SE coast of Florida has also been reported, apparently originated from the Caribbean. While it is too early to predict the bloom situation in summer 2019, if the growth conditions in the Atlantic are favorable in the next months, it is likely that 2019 may be another major bloom year (similar to 2018) for the CS.

2019/02/03 22:14:46
Skeeter
We just arrived on Saturday evening...our 8th trip to the area with no intent of not returning, despite some of the more recent challenges.  We're staying in the center of Half Moon Bay, where the sargassum has really piled up on the beach.  Crews are working feverishly to remove some of it, but I'm watching a continuous stream of new stuff entering the unprotected center of the bay.  Fortunately, the north and south edges of the bay, where the reef wall is more of a barrier, are relatively sargassum-free (entering the north side to snorkel was a breeze yesterday).  The water is super-clear and the reef looks as healthy as during the past few years.
 
Spoke to one of the owners of Turtle Bay yesterday, who confirmed that February is again been designated an off-limits month in Akumal Bay for the commercial snorkel tours...what a welcome relief for the turtles, the bay ecology, and us do-it-yourself snorkelers!
2019/02/04 13:06:37
el gran chico
The end of February 2019 report is out.  Sounding a bit more positive.
 
In Feb 2019, similar amounts as in Feb 2018 appeared in the eastern CS, but amounts in the Central West Atlantic (CWA) were lower. Meanwhile, large amounts of Sargassum were found in the western CS from Belize to the Yucatan channel, and then in the eastern Gulf of Mexico through the Loop Current. In Mar 2019, this trend is likely to continue. However, in Apr 2019 the amount of Sargassum transported from the CWA to the CS may be lower than in Apr 2018. According to the conditions in the eastern Atlantic, in later months of 2019 the CS may still experience moderate to large amounts of Sargassum.

2019/03/01 09:53:44
Kay
Thank you. 
2019/03/01 16:45:46
el gran chico
The end of March 2019 report is out.  Sounding positive again. 
 
On Feb 28th we predicted that during March 2019 large amounts of Sargassum would continue to be found in the entire Caribbean Sea (CS) and around Loop Current (LC), and during April 2019 the amount of “new” Sargassum transported from the Central West Atlantic (CWA) to the CS would decrease. Observations during March 2019 confirmed this prediction. Following the pathway of the LC and Gulf Stream, Sargassum beaching has also been reported along the east coast of Florida. Currently, the amount of Sargassum in the CWA is considerably lower than in Mar 2018, suggesting lower amount of transport (than Apr-May 2018) to the CS and the amount in the in the CS may decrease slightly from Mar 2019.

2019/04/01 16:00:37
Gatos Padres
Are there any details out yet from USF SaWS (or other sources) for the month of June 2019?  
 
2019/04/29 16:02:29
el gran chico
Hey Gatos Padres, the "End of April 2019" report should be out later this week. We'll see then what we may in store for in the short term.   
 
Some other researchers:
- University of Southern Mississippi http://gcrl.usm.edu/sargassum/index.php
- Texas A&M (Galveston Campus) http://seas-forecast.com/#
 
Historically, June was one of the worse months in the bad sargassum years (2015, 2018)
2019/04/29 16:38:00
el gran chico
End of April 2019 report is out.  Not good.     (btw, CS = Caribbean Sea)
 
... because of the local growth and already high amount in the CS, the amount in the CS in May – June 2019 may even be higher than in April 2019 and comparable to or even higher than in May – June 2018 (historical record)
 
 
https://optics.marine.usf.edu/projects/SaWS/pdf/Sargassum_outlook_2019_bulletin04_USF.pdf
 
2019/05/03 10:18:05
tsherr
2019/05/06 09:12:03
crunch
Looks about as bad as I have ever seen it on the webcam today and I don't think they are even trying to pick it up. Too overwhelming.
2019/05/06 12:31:42
pato
Here is a graphic of the Q Roo. beaches affected by seaweed as of May 8.
2019/05/09 15:16:10
TeriA
crunch
Looks about as bad as I have ever seen it on the webcam today and I don't think they are even trying to pick it up. Too overwhelming.


Looking bad again today.  or still.  I haven't been keeping track, but, wow, I pulled up the webcam this morning, and it's bad.  I do see some workers near Secrets but, how would you even begin?  I think I would walk out, take one look, and just walk away.  I know this must really be hurting the economy down there.  
2019/05/12 06:33:09
tsherr
Has there been a reason give for why this huge bloom of sargassum over the last few years?  I've heard runoff from the Amazon, Global warming, the oil leak in the Gulf.  If it's Global warming, then I guess this is the new normal.
2019/05/14 08:49:34
el gran chico
Tsherr, this video sums it up pretty well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XD92EgWzZg
 
 
2019/05/14 16:50:06
Mayan Boar
El GC, that video was very disturbing in so many ways.  So glad I sold my ocean lot on the Tulum  beach road to Boca Pailla in 2017.  Devastating, and is, and will impact the locals and tourism.  Makes me very sad.  MB
2019/05/14 19:04:30
water baby
Bringing out the big guns-
 
2019/05/15 15:06:24
Mayan Boar
Water Baby, good to see the big guns.  Wow....just wow. MB
2019/05/15 19:45:25
tsherr
Thanks el gran chico.  Looks pretty grim to me.  I can't see the offending nations/people making any changes to the runoff anytime soon.
2019/05/18 06:48:42
water baby
The beach cleaning crew diving into the sea-
it appears as though they are dragging a net to shore.
2019/05/18 10:14:32
el gran chico
Latest monthly update from the University of South Florida researchers ....
 
In May 2019, the following regions continued to experience large amounts of Sargassum: Central West Atlantic (CWA), entire Caribbean Sea (CS), eastern Gulf of Mexico, northern Florida Straits, and waters off east coast of Florida. In addition to numerous reports of Sargassum beaching in the Caribbean, beaching events have also been reported along the southeast coast of Florida. In the CS, the amounts of Sargassum are comparable to the historical record in 2018 for the same month.
 
Looking ahead, because the amount of Sargassum in the CWA in May 2019 is lower than in May 2018, the amount of Sargassum transported from the CWA to the CS (i.e., “new” Sargassum to the CS) during June–July 2019 may be lower than in June-­July 2018. However, this transport will still be higher than most of the previous “Sargassum years” during the same month. Furthermore, because of the local growth and already large amount in the CS, the amount in the CS in June–July 2019 will continue to be high. Meanwhile, the transport to the Gulf of Mexico and east coast of Florida will continue, meaning that beaching events along the east coast of Florida will also continue. The exact Sargassum amount, timing, and location of the beaching will depend on local ocean circulations and winds.
 
For summer 2019, because of the high amounts of Sargassum in the CWA in May 2019, large amounts of Sargassum (comparable to the 2nd largest amount in summer 2015) in the CS and Gulf of Mexico are a high possibility. More updates will be provided by the end of June 2019.

2019/06/01 10:17:18
AkumalVA
Oh wow, the images on today's web cam are such a surprising sight! does it look just the same in the little beach in front of Las Casitas? Wondering what the odds are of it being just as bad late September.
2019/06/05 11:33:51
TeriA
The sargassum does tend to pool in that area of the bay more than other parts, so, I would think the little beach in front of Las Casitas is just as bad.  I'm kind of hoping, and maybe this is wrong of me, but, if this continues, perhaps our once quiet little bay will return to a more peaceful atmosphere.  I can't imagine the snorkel tours are doing very well with all this smelly seaweed piled up and hanging on the surface of the water. It may get back to a more manageable number of people coming to the bay, more like it once was.  Still, that means businesses that cater to the tours will suffer, but, as most tour groups don't spend much money at the more local businesses, perhaps it will be better for those that have been there for the long haul.  I don't pretend to know what those groups do, but, from what I've been told, they are brought in buses, do their tour, and then are taken back in buses, probably shuttled to businesses paying a kickback to the tour operator to bring customers in, and then taken back to their resorts/cruise line drop off point.  If that's still the case, then, making it less profitable to bring groups to Akumal might just be for the best. 
2019/06/13 23:51:32
crunch
Would love to hear from local businesses about that TeriA. Might be true.
2019/06/14 06:35:13

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