The early season harmful algal bloom projection for Lake Erie started last month. The projection gives the range of severity of the cyanobacteria bloom that is likely to occur in Lake Erie in the summer. Weekly projections will continue to be posted until early July, when the official seasonal forecast will be made. The toxic blooms produce noxious odors, discolor the water, and pose a health threat to humans and animals.
Last year, Lake Erie saw the most intense bloom yet documented, making the projections for this year of great interest. The project uses a combination of nutrient monitoring data and models. Nutrients and nutrient models are collected by our partners at the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University. Discharge forecasts come from the National Weather Service’sOhio River Forecast Center, and models for bloom severity are developed by NCCOS scientists. The current bulletin can be accessed through the HAB Forecast Web page.