Something New for the June Grass Report
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!
THPSP and Sandestin are still at a 0 on the June Grass Grossness Index.
The wind is coming from the southwest and the water is still a bit choppy for swimming. The water also seems a bit warmer to me today.
There are a ton of black-bellied plover around. They are beautiful birds but very skittish. There are also a lot of other shorebirds like terns, gulls, willet, and sanderlings if bird watching is your thing.
I also noted a large number of black unicorn horn – shaped snails in shallow water, which is new for me. I will try to figure out what species. The beach and the Gulf are full of surprises.
THPSP, Stalworth, and Sandestin were clear this evening: 0 on the June Grass Grossness Index!
The water is a beautiful malachite color, between emerald and turquoise, but the surf is 2-3′ and a rip current alert is in effect. Stay out of the water! Red and purple flags were flying at the time of this report. The wind is coming quite strongly from the south, so I am a bit puzzled about where the June grass went.
There was one solitary pompano angler at the beach along with some willets, sanderlings, sand pipers, and a few ghost crabs. It’s shorebird nesting season, so watch where you step and respect roped – off nesting areas.
Here are a few photos:
Help improve the June Grass Report by submitting pics of beach conditions to:
Junegrasspics AT g mail DOT com
The June grass is in at about a 3 on the Grossness Index.
I stuck my feet in and the water is still a bit cold for my liking (I also turned the heat on in my car Tuesday morning when it was 64F. Obviously I have been in FL for too long).
If the water were warmer I would still go swimming.
I doubt the June grass will be leaving any time soon unless the wind shifts.
Photos of the carnage:
Please send me your beach pics to:
Junegrasspics AT g mail DOT com
June Grass Arrives Early!
I’m sorry for the lack of updates, I have been meaning to share some nice off-season beach pics but life is busy at the moment. In fact I am trying to run out the door to work right now! However, I just got a second-hand report that some fishermen at TSHPSP say the June Grass is in and thick enough that they can’t fish! Ugh!
I will try to get down there after work and confirm but if anybody has any pics please send them to me so I can post them ASAP!
The last two weeks on the Emerald Coast have been stormy, so I suspect a lot of “fertilizer” ended up in the Gulf, plus the majority of the wind has been coming from a mostly westerly direction, which is where the June Grass usually comes from.
What a way to begin the season!