WEST MICHIGAN (July 5, 2014) — Winds are forecast to increase from the south/southwest on Sunday at about 10 – 20, perhaps 15 – 25 mph. This will create SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES at the nearshore for boaters on Lake Michigan and also a HIGH BEACH HAZARD RISK for swimmers up and down the shoreline.
People always tens to be concerned about rip currents, but there are other hazards in addition to rip currents we hear so much about. Longshore currents, especially Sunday from the south to north can carry people away from where they originally entered the water. Structural currents, around piers and jetties that can be quite erratic and unpredictable. Wave action itself, can knock inexperienced swimmers, the elderly, and small children over and drag/pull them out away from the shore.
Red flags will likely be flying on Sunday at all Lake Michigan beaches denoting dangerous conditions and advising beachgoers NOT to swim. Most nearshore waves will be running about three to five feet and could be a bit higher north of Holland. The attached photo to this story shows Lake Michigan water temperatures at area beaches, wind speed and direction for morning, afternoon, and evening, as well as wave height and sky conditions expected. While there is a chance for showers and thunderstorms in the morning, the better chance is during the late afternoon, evening, and especially Sunday night in to Monday morning as a front sweeps through the state.