Weather Resources, Beach Conditions and Travel Alerts

Here you will find the latest information on severe weather, beach conditions, COVID-19 and other travel alerts that may impact your visit to Sarasota County. 

Extreme Weather & Storm Resources

For the latest information on any given case of extreme weather, see Sarasota County Emergency Services' Facebook page or Sarasota County Government Facebook Page, where updates on local conditions during an emergency are posted in real time. You can also call them at 941-861-5000. 

For Sarasota County's official information and advice for hurricane preparation, see the online Hurricane Preparedness. It is important to check directly with your accommodation or any attractions, etc. for closures, limited experiences and/or storm procedures. 

For the highest level of hurricane tracking information, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) online Hurricane Center. You can also view Active Alerts for the State of Florida

For the current status of all Sarasota County parks, click here


Lightning Safety

Florida is known for summer showers and for attracting lightning storms. states lightning is one of the deadliest weather hazards in the Sunshine State and has a variety of resources you can refer to. Another source to learn about extreme weather and lightning basics is The National Sever Storms Laboratory (NSSL). They have in-depth information to educate about lightning safety.

Red Tide

About Red Tide

Red tides have been documented along Florida's gulf coast since the 1840’s.

  • The Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, produces a toxin that may kill marine animals and affect humans.
  • A red tide bloom is a higher-than-normal concentration of a microscopic alga (plant-like organisms).

It is important to realize that many people still enjoy the beaches during red tides. Respiratory irritation and dead fish are not always present.

People may experience respiratory irritation (coughing, sneezing, and tearing) when the red tide organism is present along a coast and winds blow its aerosol onshore.

  • People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions are advised to avoid red tide areas.
  • Generally, symptoms are temporary.
  • Swimming in waters with red tide is safe for most people.
  • However, red tide may cause some people to suffer from skin irritation and burning eyes.
  • If you experience irritation, get out of the water and thoroughly wash.


Red Tide Updates

  • View current beach conditions as reported by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources on their Sarasota County Red Tide Status and Response Dashboard. Similar information can be viewed on their website
  • Fish and Wildlife and Mote Marine have come together to create a Facebook page. "Like" their page for updates on their monitoring efforts for red tide and other harmful algal blooms in coastal Florida waters.
  • Please visit the FWC website for updates on the status of red tide in Florida:
  • The latest red tide status reports from the FWC are also available by phone. Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state. Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-552-2448. Standard calling charges apply.
  • For daily red tide beach updates visit Sarasota County's beach conditions report Web site, or call 941-BEACHES (941-232-2437 Press 1 for Sarasota County). 



Sargassum is a naturally occurring seaweed that floats freely on the ocean's surface and provides crucial habitat for many marine species and is also an important element in shoreline stability. Read about Sargassum FAQs, see where it is currently located, or check out the factsheet from the Florida Department of Health for more information. 


Beach Conditions


To see detailed, updated information about any Sarasota County beach in real time, visit Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's Beach Conditions Reporting System.

View Sarasota County's live feed of the beach on Siesta Key. 

For additional updates and imagery regarding beach conditions, see VISIT FLORIDA's Florida Now page.