Dangerous, life-threatening conditions along Lake Michigan

Dangerous swimming conditions have plagued Lake Michigan beaches in Illinois and Wisconsin over the last few days. Now it's time for Michigan beaches to see large waves and dangerous currents. 

A Beach Hazards Statement is in effect from La Porte County in Indiana northward to Mackinac Island. That is the entire western shore of Lower Michigan. 

Wave height forecast for Wednesday.
Beach Hazards Statements are issued when swimming conditions are expected to be dangerous to even life-threatening. This particular go-around will feature large waves, dangerous currents, strong winds, and the potential for coastal erosion and minor flooding.

That includes the counties of La Porte, Berrien and Van Buren, with the worst conditions expected to be north of New Buffalo. Timing for the hazardous swimming and coastal conditions will be Tuesday thru Thursday. 

Wednesday, though, will by far be the most dangerous. Westerly winds will increase to 15-20 mph with gusts occasionally reaching 30-35 mph. As a result, waves will build to 4-6' feet during the morning and afternoon hours. 

The potential exists for waves to reach 5-8' from Silver Beach northward to South Haven and Grand Haven. Here's what the National Weather Service says regarding the waves:

"Avoid swimming at Lake Michigan beaches or walking out on piers, particularly on Wednesday! Piers will be heavily swamped by waves."

Wave height forecast thru Saturday for La Porte and Berrien County beaches.
By Thursday, conditions will improve as waves subside to 2-4'. Waves of that height combined with winds up to 15 mph will still provide hazardous swimming conditions throughout the day. Friday could wind up being a yellow flag day as well before conditions drastically improve for Saturday and Sunday.

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