A lifeguards no swimming flag flies above a beach as Palm Beach County officials announced that all county beaches are closed due to red tide affecting coastal areas on October 4, 2018 in Lake Worth, Florida. The red tide algae has been detected in Miami-Dade which closed some of its beaches as well as St. Lucie and Martin counties.
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Red Tide: How Hurricane Michael will affect toxic algae

Toxic algae, known as the Red Tide, has been wreaking havoc along the Florida coastline for months.

>> ‘Monstrous storm’ Hurricane Michael projected to be Category 4 by morning

As Hurricane Michael approaches, many are wondering what effect this storm will have on this harmful bloom. 

According to marine biologists, there may be two different scenarios that play out: one positive and the other negative.

The positive would be strong offshore winds that would help to break up the algae and push it away from the coastline. On the flip side, if the track alters and winds blow onshore, this could push the bloom inland into interior channels and canals. 

>> LIVE Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

The bigger concern is whether Hurricane Michael becomes a heavy rainmaker leading to flooding. Runoff from agricultural areas could send fertilizer filled with nutrients to the beaches and coastline. If these nutrients reach the toxic algae, they would feed the bloom and cause it to grow. 

>> 5-day forecast

Whatever the effect Hurricane Michael will have on the Red Tide, it is something experts and locals will closely watch over the coming days and weeks.

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