2014 Boating Season Launches With Great Weather

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-25 18:45:49-04

WEST MICHIGAN (May 25, 2014) — We all know Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to the summer season we’ve been waiting for. Summer officially arrives on June 21…one of the longest days of the year!

With Lake Michigan water temperatures slowly warming, a long holiday weekend, dry conditions, and the Great Lakes plastered wall to wall with abundant sunshine, boating season is back! I remember when I was much younger I always tried to shoot for having the boat in the water by Memorial Day weekend, but it generally hasn’t happened since I’ve gotten older. Too many things to do around the house, yard, and dealing with other grown up details.

A quick peek at a few of the lakeshore webcams, viewer photos, and conversations with people and it’s clear to see the 2014 boating season has already been launched…successfully! The attached photo to this story is from our FOX 17 Live Neighborhood WeatherBug Network in Saugatuck. In fact, all of the FOX 17 Meteorologists are now including the annual Lake Michigan forecast in most of our weather updates.

The Lake Michigan forecast is a great guide to see what the conditions will be on the lake for the morning, afternoon, and evening. One forecast for the day simply doesn’t cover the changing conditions, that’s why we break it down over the course of three daily periods. It also has forecast wind direction and speed, water temperatures (when available), and any advisories/alerts when in effect, sky conditions, as well as beach hazard risks for swimmers. See the graphic below.

Lake Michigan

With Lake Michigan water levels up this year 12 to 14 inches over this time last year, everybody is happier too! Boaters and jet skiers can launch easier, and those that fish can retreat to the bayou that last year may have been inaccessible. That said, the overall level of the lake is still expected to remain about six to eight inches below the long-term average over the next six months.

Most lakeshore locations use memorial day as the time when the start recording and reporting water temperatures. We’ve received reports from Grand Haven of lake temperatures at about 48 degrees, Holland at 44 degrees, and Saugatuck at 52. We should also note that when inland temperatures this time of year are in the low/mid 80s, a wind off Lake Michigan typically keeps the beaches a good 15 to 20 degrees cooler.

For the complete West Michigan forecast, as well as temperatures, radar, and satellite, click over to