Bacteria Blob Bloom update for Lake Erie: big, bad, and ugly
The blue-green algae-like bacteria slime of Lake Erie is returning. The latest forecast dated August 17th predicts it to be the third largest on record.
It was made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), This federal agency runs the National Weather Service. It predicts the country's weather.
The base year for record keeping these blobs was 2011. That year's slime bloom was rated 10.0 out of ten. That record was broken in 2015 with a bacteria bloom rating of 10.5. It resulted in a two-day water ban for Toledo, Ohio and parts of Michigan.
This year's bloom is forecast to be 7.5. Anything above a five is considered dangerous. Last year's bloom was rated 3.2. despite unusually warmer than normal temperatures.
Deaths have resulted from drinking this contaminated water.
Sometimes the bacteria looks like algae floating on top of the lake, appearing as slicks of blue-green paint. Other times, like in 2011, entire portions of Lake Erie looked like foot high rolling waves of solid green pea soup gunk.