Severe Harmful Algae Bloom Likely for Lake Erie

Based on early forecasts by NOAA, conditions look likely for there to be a harmful algae bloom along West Lake Erie. The NOAA scientists are forecasting that the algae bloom will most likely exceed the severity of the last year. This boom in algae is caused by excess phosphorous in the water provided by the runoff into the lake. This excess phosphorous is mostly due to runoff from the Maumee River. This algae bloom isn’t forecasted to be as severe as 2015 was. Impacts are mostly seen in Ohio, but can stretch to Southeast Michigan as well.

LINK TO ARTICLE WITH VIDEO:

LINK TO NOAA INFO ON ALGAE BLOOMS:

Satellite Image Of Lake Erie showing Algae, with Toledo and Cleveland placed on the image. Image courtesy of NOAA and NASA

 

OREGON, OH – AUGUST 3 (from 2014)
Eden Rogers, 13, uses a stick to try and scoop algae off the shoreline as the shadows of her sisters Brittany Rogers, 27, and Danielle Rogers, 24, with Danielle’s toy Australian Shepherd, Barniby, walk the beach at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, Ohio on Sunday, August 3, 2014. The sisters, who grew up in the Toledo area, said they came to the beach to look at the Algae bloom, along the shore of Lake Erie, which has rendered the city of Toledo under a State of Emergency after a toxin from the algae polluted the city water supply rendering about 400,000 people in the Toledo area without useable water. (Photo by Ty Wright for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

 

A Flashback to the Algae Bloom of 2014/15

Back in 2015, the largest case of harmful algae on record impacted Lake Erie. This bloom covered over 300 sq miles of the Lake and left a thick scum wherever it covered. The 2015 bloom stayed more towards the center of Lake Erie, so the impacts were less severe. Even though the bloom the year before was smaller, it was closer to the Western shore. This left over 400,000 people without clean drinking water in Toledo, OH.

With this years harmful algae bloom predicting that it’ll be closer to the Western shore, this may cause issues with drinking water yet again. But it is still far too early to tell what the impacts may be. Many blooms can get very bad. Lake Erie is not the only area that has had issues with too much harmful algae.

Shane Gaghen of Oregon holds a glass of algae filled Lake Erie water, near the Toledo water intake crib, Sunday, August 3, 2014. The National Wildlife Federation conducted a media boat tour of the area. THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY

Additional information about toxic algae can be found here

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About Alex Burton

Alex graduated with a degree in meteorology from Ohio University. He is pursuing internships and other professional volunteer work for a year before continuing his education. Alex has had a fascination with the weather from a young age and has a particular interest in severe weather. He's completed research on the microscale effects on mountains due to weather. He is very interested in space weather.
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