Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The First 2018 Lake Erie Algal Bloom Forecast is Here, and It's Not Pretty

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2018 at 4:00 PM

  • Photo by Eric Sandy
A nasty green algae bloom is certain to hit the shallowest of the Great Lakes once more this summer, scientists confirm. But the depth of the problem is uncertain.

Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Center for Water Quality Research released its first forecast for the year, indicating that they don't know a whole hell of a lot yet. 

"Because the forecast uses modeled discharge for two months, there is a large uncertainty in bloom severity," forecasters admitted in a release.

So far, according to the researchers, heavy precipitation in April have led to farm runoff leaving high phosphorus levels in the Maumee River, which runs directly into Lake Erie.

"The phosphorus load to date is sufficient for some bloom to occur, however, the uncertainty is quite large," forecasters said.

As major rain events are not predicted for the upcoming weeks, it's hard to conclude if this year's algal bloom will be larger than last summer's, the third worst on record.

A final seasonal forecast taking place in July should offer a far more accurate indication of what could lie beneath Lake Erie's surface this summer.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

August 12, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation