Below-Average Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Predicted for Western Lake Erie
Last month National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released its annual HAB forecast for western Lake Erie. The forecast for this summer is a smaller than average HAB, around 3.5. The most severe bloom in recent years was in 2015 at 10.5. HABs not only affect the marine ecosystem, but also the health of people living in the coastal areas, not to mention the effects they have on the local economy. Big river discharge events during mid-summer add to the uncertainty of the HAB forecasts, but forecasting experience has improved the models. NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) provides forecasts and visualizations of the bloom’s location and movement on Lake Erie's surface on their website as well as where the bloom is located within the water column. Stone Laboratory and Ohio Sea Grant at The Ohio State University, along with Heidelberg University, have partnered together with NOAA to share their research and expertise with the local communities.
Learn more about Lake Erie's HABs and the forecast here.