What to expect at the beach for today, July 12

We saw some rain and storms roll through Michiana last night but we’re looking nice and dry for the rest of the week. If you’re thinking about heading out to the beach today, conditions will be looking pretty nice with temperatures in the mid-70’s and mainly sunny skies. If you aren’t able to make it out to the beach today, the next few days are looking even warmer and with lower swim risks. We should be staying dry this week.

Winds today will be moderate between 10-15 MPH this morning and falling to 5-10 MPH by this afternoon. Wind direction will shift to be from the northwest, so you’ll probably feel a bit of the lake breeze if you’re heading out earlier in the day.

There is a high swim risk for today, so you might want to avoid getting in the water or walking any piers today, but if you do plan on swimming, make sure to bring a life jacket. Waves will be between 3-4 feet due to some stronger winds yesterday. Wave heights through the rest of the week look to be lower with safer swim risks.

Lake Michigan is a great place to head for a beach day to enjoy the warm and sunny weather, but make sure not to underestimate the danger that comes with wavier days.

In this year alone, dangerous swimming conditions in Lake Michigan have already resulted in 19 drowning incidents, the most of any of the Great Lakes. Lake Erie and Ontario have both only had 12, Lake Huron has had 2, and Lake Superior has had only 1.

This isn’t abnormal at all – nearly 50% of Great Lakes drownings last year occurred in Lake Michigan. Bringing a life jacket is a great idea if you’re heading out to the big lake, but it’s worth some consideration to stay out of the water all together.

If you plan to take a dip in Lake Michigan today, it might be a bit chillier than we’ve seen the past few days. Over the next few days, lake temperatures are expected to slightly increase.

We had some stronger winds blow through Michiana yesterday out of our south which caused a bit of upwelling, a process that makes the near the shoreline water feel colder.

Upwelling occurs when winds push surface water away from the shoreline and deeper water moves in the replace it. Water deep below the surface doesn’t get heating from the sun, so it’s much colder. Therefore, when winds blow surface water away from the coastline, water temperatures at Lake Michigan beaches drop.

Lake temperatures yesterday sat at 73 degrees, and we’ll be down at least 2 degrees here in New Buffalo for today. Winds yesterday were mainly out of the south and south west which helped to push surface water further north and northeast, encouraging upwelling. Because of this, lake temperatures may feel a bit cooler today if you’re heading out to the beach.

Winds the weekend look to be shifting to more southerly again, which would work to push surface waters to the north and allow for upwelling to occur. Make to sure to watch for slightly cooler water temperatures this weekend.

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