Here is the best satellite monitoring data on chlorophyll that I could find for May 13 when Art and Hank were reporting June Grass in Blue Mountain and Henderson:
Here is a link to the University of South Florida site that I have been using. Make sure you are looking at chlorophyll data and not surface temperature data.
I had an epiphany the other day: June Grass is sort of a plant. Plants are green because of pigments called chlorophyll. Various government and scientific agencies track chlorophyll concentrations in the ocean, using satellite imagery, for a variety of reasons.
There are a number of websites where you can access this data. I am still combing through them but this is what the University of South Florida has to say about their chlorophyll tracking imagery:
“The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System region is an area bounded within these coordinates: 31°N 18°N 79°W and 98°W.
For day passes, there are five image products produced. Products include: a chlor_a (Chlorophyll a) image, an ergb (Enhanced RGB) image, a flh (Fluorescence Line Height) image, and a sst (Sea Surface Temperature) image. During night passes, two products are producted: a sst (Sea Surface Temperature) image and sst4 (Sea Surface Temperature) image.
Meris data is not produced for this area.
If you are viewing ‘color’ images, for any week but the current week, and click on a Google Earth link, Florida’s FWC Karenia brevis data will be displayed as a layer. Since FWC makes the data available on Friday, current week images do not have an association to K. brevis data until Saturday. The K. brevis data displayed corresponds to the date of the images you are viewing. All images during any one week are linked to that week’s FWC K. brevis data.
You will notice that the most current imagery date is displayed. If there are several passes, they will be seen inside each of the tabs.
All images are mapped to a cylindrical equidistant projection. Images are at 1 kilometer resolution.
All images are mapped to a cylindrical equidistant projection.
More information / references for any of the products can be found in the ‘information’ link located beneath every image.”
Here is the image they had for May 1, when we happened to have our first June Grass sighting:
Red coloration indicates high concentrations of chlorophyll (and maybe June Grass or other algae) and blue means low concentrations. Zoom in and check out our area. Look at all the red in the west! Everybody always says the June Grass comes from the west. I’m going to try to look at these kinds of images whenever we have reports of heavy June Grass this season and see if there is any correlation. It might not work but it could also be another tool in the fight against June Grass-ruined beach days.
I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Post Beach Conditions HERE! tab on the menu, to further improve the June Grass Report. You can also submit pics of the beach conditions from your location to: junegrasspics AT gmail DOT com Submitting your pics will vastly increase the beaches the June Grass Report can cover daily. Keep it family-friendly: (no booze, obscene gestures or R-rated swimwear, etc.) and include your location. By submitting pics you agree to let me use them as I see fit but I’ll put your name on them when posted. Your help and support is most appreciated!
There will be no June Grass Reports on red flag days because I do not encourage anybody to go in the water on a red flag. It’s dangerous, don’t do it!
If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams . They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!