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Scientists predict "significant" cyanobacteria blooms on Lake Erie this year

A side-angle view of a boat cutting through green-tinged water
Mark Brush
/
Michigan Radio
NOAA scientists expect cyanobacteria blooms in western Lake Erie to be worse than last year, but it depends on the weather over the next few months.

Experts say heavy rains this spring make it more likely western Lake Erie will see another significant bloom of toxic cyanobacteria 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 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.

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