As temperatures begin to drop from the upper 70s to mid-60s -- with lows expected to move into the 40s and 30s -- the cooler weather could weaken the destructive red tide algae bloom that has had the Mississippi Sound north of the barrier islands in its grip since early December.

"We certainly hope the cooler weather helps dissipate the algae bloom," said Melissa Scallan, public information director for the state Department of Marine Resources.

The Karenia brevis algae bloom is commonly found in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Experts say it is uncommon for a red tide outbreak this late in the year this far north in the Gulf.

But Scallan said there is no exact breaking point for the bloom.

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