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Dangerous Beach Conditions Forecast for Friday

Posted at 3:11 PM, Jul 18, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A combination of warm water temperatures and continued hot, humid weather will likely draw many people to the beaches of Lake Michigan Friday, but high winds and waves will also create the potential for dangerous conditions at the lakeshore as well.

A cold front will drop into the region and allow winds to pick up out of the west and southwest.  This will kick waves up to as high as three to six feet during the day Friday up and down the lakeshore.  In addition, winds and waves are generally higher around thunderstorms, which will likely develop at times as well during the day.

Due to the wind direction, the greatest potential for danger will be in the following locations:

  • Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon
  • Grand Haven State Park
  • South Beach in South Haven

This is what the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids says about the conditions:

“Be sure of your swimming ability. Children should not enter the water unsupervised and without a certified flotation device.

Caution should be used when in or near the water. Pay attention to flags and signs posted near beach access points and lifeguard stations.

High wave action alone can make swimming difficult on days such as this. Incoming waves in rapid succession can tire a swimmer quickly.

Structural currents form along piers where longshore currents and wave action flow into the structure. Structural currents can sweep you out lakeward along the pier structure.

A longshore current is a lake current that moves parallel to shore. Longshore currents can be strong enough to prevent swimmers from being able to keep their feet on the bottom… making it difficult to return to shore.

Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore…which occur most often at low spots or breaks in sandbars.  Rip currents can sweep you out lakeward.”

Another thing to pay attention to is the fact that thunderstorms may become strong to severe during the day and create damaging wind gusts or possibly some large hail.

Continue to keep an eye to the sky, and watch FOX 17 News and our Weather page for updated information.