How do we forecast harmful algal blooms?

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NOAA's Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System in the Gulf of Mexico identifies whether or not a bloom of algae is likely to contain a toxic species, where it is, how big it is, where it's headed, and if it could become more severe in the near future. Like a weather forecast, this system provides officials advance warning to test and close beaches and shellfish beds more precisely and for a shorter period of time....
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