If you've visited Lake Michigan this summer, you've probably noticed one thing: the water is very warm. Water temperatures in Michigan City, New Buffalo, St. Joseph, and South Haven have been in the upper 70s over the last several weeks. At times, the water temperature has even eclipsed 80°! That is atypical for Lake Michigan. It's not just here in Michiana, though. The entire lake is seeing above normal water temperatures.
There are many factors that affect the water temperature of our Great Lake. Air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, sunshine, rainfall, etc. This year has provided plenty of heat and favorable winds to allow the lake water temperatures to continuously warm. As a whole, Lake Michigan's water temperature as of August 17th was roughly 75°F. That includes all sites across the lake that record water temperature. The lake's water temperature is usually around 70°F. That is a significant difference when it comes to water temperature.
Looking back to 1995, there has only been one year with an August 17th Lake Michigan water temperature higher than what we have this year. That was 2016, when the average water temperature of Lake Michigan was 75.5°F. In other words, this has been and will continue to be the 2nd-warmest August for Lake Michigan water temperatures in the last 23 years! Unfortunately, by the beginning of September, water temperatures will start to drop as cooler air and northwesterly winds become more common with fall weather systems. Until then, enjoy the near-record warm lake waters! This weekend looks phenomenal with partly cloudy skies, highs near 80° and light winds!