SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A number of beaches from Manatee to Sarasota Counties are under a moderate to high risk of respiratory irritation due to harmful red tide algal blooms, according to recent data from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

The centers estimate over the next 36 hours, select beaches in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, and Lee Counties may experience the worst of conditions.

According to the center’s latest Respiratory Forecast, residents living between Longboat Key and Venice Beach can expect a “moderate” risk of irritation caused by red tide. Those residing near the Venice Fishing Pier down to Caspersen Beach can expect a “high” risk of irritation.

The NCCOS says the moderate to high risk is most likely to occur when winds blow onshore or alongshore, and less likely when winds are blowing offshore.

“Winds will be from the north for the next several days, so red tide will be pushed southward along our coastline, gathering in bays and growing in concentration against land masses that jut out into the Gulf,” said WFLA Meteorologist Rebecca Barry. “On a more positive note, the cooler temperatures will slowly lower our temperatures in the Gulf, which may inhibit further blooms.”

Southwest Florida satellite imagery shows two large concentrations of red tide accumulating off the coast. One concentration appears just south of Siesta Key while the second is south of Cape Coral.

(Courtesy of National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science)

Red tide blooms are known to cause respiratory illness and eye irritation in humans. It can also kill marine life. Blooms are often patchy, so impacts vary by beach and throughout the day.

For more information on red tide reports in your area, click here.