In January 2018, unusually high amount of Sargassum was caught in satellite imagery in both the Caribbean and the central West Atlantic. While the former could only be peered by January 2015, the latter represented a historical record. Based on these observations and based on the connectivity between the two regions, in early February 2018 we generated and distributed our first 1-page Sargassum outlook bulletin for the Caribbean Sea, and predicted that 2018 would be a major bloom year for the Caribbean.
… the chart below shows Sargassum areal coverage for each calendar month. The images show distributions of Sargassum areal density for the most recent month, together with the same month in previous years. It is clear that 2018 represents a record-high bloom year for both the Caribbean and the central West Atlantic. The reasons behind this record-high bloom, however, are yet to be determined.