Lake Erie’s harmful algae bloom season is over for the year, and it wasn’t as bad as scientists expected.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks this year’s algae bloom as relatively mild, a 3.6 on the agency’s bloom severity scale. That’s compared to an eight last year.
The forecast in July predicted the bloom would be significant – a six.
NOAA says the bloom started unusually early this year after Lake Erie started warming up in May. But a September storm created strong winds over Lake Erie that “disrupted the bloom,” and it was over by the first week of October.
There were still areas of green, paint-like scum on the waters of western Lake Erie, but they were nothing like last year’s bloom that drew national coverage and hurt Lake Erie tourism.
NOAA says researchers will review the possible reasons why the agency overestimated this year’s bloom.