Impressive or Frightening! According to the USF Optical Oceanography Lab, the Abundance of sargassum recorded in May in the Caribbean Sea and West Central Atlantic has set a new historical record. It is expected that the amount of sargassum in the Caribbean Sea will continue to increase during summer leading to more beaching events.
Large amount of Sargassum was observed in CWA, i.e., the region east of the Lesser Antilles and in the entire Caribbean Sea. Moderate amount has been transported from the Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), the Straits of Florida, and along the east coast of Florida following the Loop Current, Florida Current, and the Gulf Stream, respectively. On the other hand, significant beaching events may have occurred around most of the Caribbean nations and islands. Looking ahead, 2021 will be another major Sargassum year, and the Sargassum amount in the Caribbean will likely increase continuously into the summer, accompanied with more beaching events.