More rain likely means more algae in Lake Erie later this summer

TOLEDO, Ohio — Experts say heavy rains this spring make it more likely western Lake Erie will see another significant algae bloom later this year.

The bloom’s size will ultimately depend on rainfall amounts from now through early summer.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have issued their first forecast of the year for the lake. They’re projecting the algae bloom will be more severe than last year, which saw a relatively mild outbreak.

They don’t expect it will match the large blooms that formed in 2011 and 2015 and stretched across the western and central areas of the lake.

Still, researchers say forecasts made this early in the year can change depending on weather patterns in the coming months.

And, according to the Ohio DNR, with the amount of rainfall that Ohio has received this spring, Lake Erie water levels continue to rise – they’re currently at near-record highs, will remain high and are anticipated to peak in the month of June. Lake levels will then begin to subside due to a normal seasonal decline, according to the DNR.

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