If you remember spring of 2014, you remember scenes like this: 20 foot piles of stinky, smelly Sargassum seaweed! It's a naturally occurring algae which grows in the slow, warm currents of the Sargasso sea -- a portion of the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida -- and commonly drifts on ocean currents toward Texas. While huge mats can grow in some years, during others we see very little.
Yesterday, the season's first episode of Sargassum washed up on area beaches, due to our busy onshore flow. I asked around and found Mike Wurl, a scientist and researcher at Texas A&M Galveston, who examines high resolution satellite imagery to determine if it's nearby and where it's going. Fortunately, the news is good!
Good news with the seaweed: despite our aggressive onshore flow, there's little additional Sargassum to come ashore. pic.twitter.com/PHGd2xiwjA— Brooks Garner (@BrooksKHOU) May 18, 2017
There was only a relatively small mat of seaweed (in the yellow circle) but nothing else floating. While this could change later this summer, for now, there's no indication we'll see a repeat of 2014. We can only hope!