Labor Day Swimmers And Beachgoers Beware

Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-01 22:13:54-04

WEST MICHIGAN – Brisk northwest winds behind a cold front on Monday (Labor Day) will produce some hazardous swimming conditions for beachgoers up and down the Lake Michigan shoreline. Please exercise caution!

I was just reading a statement from the National Weather Service that says “since 2002 about 20 percent of all known rip current fatalities have occurred around the Labor Day weekend from Michigan City, Indiana to St. Joseph, Michigan. This is a potentially deadly situation if you enter the water on Monday.”

While the statement is quite scary, make sure to heed the warning. A high beach hazard risk has been posted up and down the coastline with three to five foot waves expected in many locations. The National Weather Service out of North Webster, Indiana (the office that forecasts for the southern base of lake Michigan), is expecting higher waves at about four to seven feet on Monday with a strong northwest wind. The north side of piers and jetties have a higher risk as well with the long fetch and northwest flow.

Rip currents, structural currents, longshore currents, and high wave action can all be deadly. The attached Lake Michigan forecast shows waves expected for boaters/mariners of about three to five feet with small craft advisories posted through the day. Expect northwest winds at about 15 to 25 knots through most of the day.Click herefor a graphic showing projected wave height. You can click herefor more information from the National Weather Service about various currents and water hazards. Click herefor the latest surf zone and recreational forecast from the National Weather Service.

As always, go to for the latest West Michigan forecast over the next several days. Looks like a quiet entrance in to September and mainly a dry week. Have a safe, pleasant, and peaceful Labor Day weekend.