NOAA Lake Erie Algal Bloom Projection

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has combined data from the National Center of Coastal Ocean Science and Heidelberg University's National Center for Water Quality Research to predict the severity of harmful algal blooms in western Lake Erie. The first projection is as follows:

The severity of the western Lake Erie cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom (HAB) is dependent on phosphorus inputs from March 1st through July 31st, called the loading season. This new experimental product projects the bloom severity based on the combination of measurements of discharge and phosphorus loading from the Maumee River for the loading season to date with historical records from past years to estimate the remainder of the loading season.

Based on 10 weeks of data (March 1- May 3), the extensive severe blooms observed in 2011 and 2013 are not projected to occur this year. The current load is below that of 2014 at this time. However, there is still a large uncertainty in the projection because the loading season is only about halfway through. This uncertainty will reduce over time as the loading season progresses. 

This experimental product uses the Maumee River phosphorus load data from Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research and the western Lake Erie bloom severity models by NOAA’s National Center for Coastal Ocean Science.

For the full report, please visit: http://www2.nccos.noaa.gov/coast/lakeerie/bulletin/archive/2015/projection_2015-01.pdf

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