National Weather Service to Start Beach Pilot Program

RUSKIN, Fla. (AP) _ The National Weather Service will issue statements on beach hazards as part of a pilot program.

Beginning June 1, the weather service will begin issuing information about harmful algae blooms, Red Tide, rip currents, chemical spills, high bacteria levels and dangerous marine wildlife.

Weather service officials say they want to make the information more accessible to the public, so beachgoers, fishermen or surfers will have the latest news.

The so called “Beach Hazard Statements” will be issued for a coastal area as needed, within 12-24 hours of a threat.

The Tampa Bay Area Weather Forecast Office is one of six NWS offices participating in the pilot program.

Grand Rapids, Mich., San Francisco, Newport and Morehead, N.C., New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La., and Seattle are also participating.