NOAA Coral Reef Watch partnered with the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in Key West to develop a Bleaching Weather forecast combining wind and cloudiness into a risk for coral bleaching.
Certain weather conditions -- warm air temperature, low winds, sunny skies, and calm waves -- are known to induce bleaching events. These conditions subject corals to high sea surface temperatures and high levels of sunlight, both of which are strong risk factors for coral bleaching.
This product was derived from factors already included in the official NWS marine forecast, but combined them into a product specific to coral bleaching. The seven-day forecast was designed to bridge the gap between Coral Reef Watch's near-real-time satellite monitoring and its modeled seasonal bleaching outlook.
This forecast gives greater depth of information to the current satellite early-warning system. A manager might receive a bleaching alert e-mail and then check the bleaching forecast to see if weather conditions are expected to worsen or ease thermal stress over the coming week.
NOTE: This 7-Day Coral Bleaching Weather Forecast for the Florida Reef Tract was a research product that was tested only preliminarily for further development. It was discontinued as of September 26, 2016 prior to further development, testing, and evaluation. Hence, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this product for predicting weather patterns leading to coral bleaching heat stress. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and to provide your feedback.