Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Watch out for Rip Currents - On Lake Michigan


Beach Hazards Statement for the Great Lakes

Always hearing about rip currents risk with passing tropical storms or when those long period swells line up just perfectly from a passing storm. The same weather setup can also set up over the great lakes providing some great wave action, but it also poses a risk. The National Weather Service has a whole page dedicated to Great Lakes Hazards including rip currents.

Looks like a Typical Beach

Courtesy EarthCam

Pulled this from the Earthcam site. One of many cameras you can view live, see them all here. Typical wave action with some white caps, but this is from Lake Michigan today. The wind is out of the north and lines up perfectly with the Length of the Lake. This type of weather pattern can produce massive waves along the southern shore.

Thanks to a Cold Front

Courtesy NASA

The front is south of Lake Michigan with cold air cumulus developing to the north. This indicates a strong wind behind the front moving from north to south. For a more in depth analysis of the weather over the Great Lakes I found this page. This is a great resource for weather information just over the Lakes.

Forecast Wave Heights issued for Lake Michigan Courtesy NOAA
Forecast Wind Speed issued for Lake Michigan Courtesy NOAA

It's Still just the Weather

The ingredients are there today and can happen often over the Great Lakes that cause Rip Currents. In fact there are many other hazards present as well as is listed on the hazards site. If your around or in the lake make sure you stay aware of the hazards, even if there is no advisory or hazard statements issued.

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