Rainy April Contributes to First Summer Algae Bloom Projection
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a wet April and a rainy start to May have led to above-average phosphorus loads in the Maumee River.
NOAA says rainfall is expected to be near or above average in the next few weeks – causing increased runoff into streams that end up in Lake Erie. Runoff that carries excessive phosphorus and nitrogen can lead to big algae blooms.
NOAA’s Early Season Projection published today notes, “The phosphorus load to date is sufficient for some bloom to occur, however the uncertainty is quite large.”
Last year’s bloom ranked as one of the worst in recent years. At its peak, it covered about one thousand square miles from Toledo to the Ontario coast, according to NOAA.
The federal agency will continue weekly updates of its seasonal algae bloom projection, with a final seasonal forecast in early July.