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Old 31-10-2014, 11:36   #1
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Lake Michigan weather

Lest you think the great lakes are always calm:
Here's the forecast for this weekend.

Lake Michigan From St. Joseph To South Haven Mi 5 Nm Offshore To
Mid Lake-
Sturgeon Bay WI to Point Betsie mi south
Rest Of Today

North storm force winds to 50 kt. A few storm force gusts to 55 kt possible mid to late morning. Rain and snow showers. Waves 10 to 14 ft occasionally to 18 ft building to 18 to 23 ft occasionally to 28 ft into the afternoon.
Tonight

North storm force winds to 50 kt easing to gales to 45 kt during the evening...then diminishing to 30 kt late. Scattered snow showers. Waves subsiding to 12 to 16 ft occasionally to 20 ft overnight.
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Old 31-10-2014, 11:51   #2
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

Also:

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Old 31-10-2014, 12:14   #3
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

Lake Michigan, ha! That's a sissy lake, now Huron.... that's a lake.

Just kidding Kbudd! Those are nasty waves by any standard but what a lot of people don't realize is these are not 24 ft ocean rollers with 6ft of breakers & spray on top, the waves on the Great Lakes become very steep short frequency waves, more like successive 24 ft walls of water. Testimony to this fact is the hundreds of ocean going ships that litter the bottom of the lakes. I personally have never seen Michigan whipped up like that, it must have been something to behold.
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Old 31-10-2014, 12:40   #4
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

Thanks Greenhand, that story always gives me the chills! I have done a few relief jobs on the lakers as an ordinary and an AB always between November and January. You earn your pay many times over sailing the Lakes in the winter. There is no place on earth colder than a Lake superior ore dock in January.
Dave
*ex Lake Michigan sailor
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Old 31-10-2014, 12:57   #5
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

A little webcam action from Sheboygan, WI

BeachCam | Sheboygan Tourism
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Old 31-10-2014, 13:04   #6
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbudd View Post
Lest you think the great lakes are always calm:...
Only folks who don't have functioning brains.
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Old 31-10-2014, 14:52   #7
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

here is another webcam from Holland Michigan, waves earlier were looking to be 15-20 at the pierhead.

Spyglass Holland Channel Webcam 640x480
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Old 31-10-2014, 16:19   #8
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

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...North storm force winds to 50 kt. A few storm force gusts to 55 kt possible mid to late morning. Rain and snow showers. Waves 10 to 14 ft occasionally to 18 ft building to 18 to 23 ft occasionally to 28 ft into the afternoon....
Not bad ... for little Great Lake . If you want to really get scared, come up to Superior .

I jest, of course. All the Great Lakes are not to be taken lightly. They are big enough to produce huge waves. But the waves are tight and steep, and because weather changes much quicker over the continents, things can go from calm to "all hell breaking loose" in a very shore time. This makes the Great Lakes far more challenging than most ocean conditions.

This past season I sailed four of the five Great Lakes (missed Michigan, unfortunately). We've spent the last near-decade on Superior, so I was prepared to be underwhelmed once we got into Erie and Ontario. Boy was I wrong! Turns out Erie was the spookiest. It would go from flat to boiling big waves in 20 minutes. And Ontario gave us the most challenging overnight sail of the whole 1500 nm journey.
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Old 31-10-2014, 16:28   #9
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

The wind is out of the north pushing all that water to the south.


High Waves Swamp Parts Of Lake Shore Drive, Navy Pier « CBS Chicago
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Old 31-10-2014, 19:41   #10
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

By far the worst storm I have ever been in was on lake Michigan. 3 years sailing the pacific the altlantic the gulf Hawaii, Phillipines. It was non stop 18 to 30 ft seas for 12 hours as soon as we headed down one wave we were headed back up another.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 31-10-2014, 19:53   #11
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

I'm hoping to get out on the lake this weekend. Shouldn't be too bad by Sunday.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:50   #12
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

Waves hit 21.7 feet last night at mid lake wind gusts over 50 kt's. Data at buoy 45007.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:39   #13
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

I grew up sailing the Great Lakes. Somewhere along the way someone explained the relative steepness and severity of the seas as being due to the fact that fresh water is less dense than seawater. Not sure if that is correct or not. I suppose it makes sense.

On the ocean I have encountered some pretty steep chop in wind against current situations or when different sets of waves coincide.

However when it comes to plain old straight line wind waves, I don't know that I have seen any seas quite as steep as I grew up with.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:15   #14
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbudd View Post
The wind is out of the north pushing all that water to the south.


High Waves Swamp Parts Of Lake Shore Drive, Navy Pier « CBS Chicago
Lake Michigan isn't so bad for sieche (spelling). More than a foot is unusual (coupled with big waves it's still not great)

We were north of Toledo on Lake Erie. We went to bed with the gunnels a foot or so above the dock. Around midnight we heard the lines creaking. We were about 2' down, so we adjusted the lines and went back to bed. This process repeated with lines being adjusted until we were sitting on the bottom and the gunnels were 6' below the dock. Other boats had cleats ripped out and the mono's were all fallen over against the docks.

Another time we were in Holland and when out to the channel (on shore not the boat). While watching, the coast guard came out. Just a couple hundred yards from the breakwaters, the coast guard would disappear entirely as it dropped into the troughs. They turned around and came back in. The boys were a little wild eyed as they came back in.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:30   #15
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Re: Lake Michigan weather

"And Ontario gave us the most challenging overnight sail of the whole 1500 nm journey. " Mike O'Reilly


Congratulations on your successful passage and accomplishment!
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