GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Most of this summer has been marked by relatively balmy water temperatures for our shores of Lake Michigan, but northerly winds are expected to induce a sharp dive at some area beaches.
Already, Grand Haven, Holland, Little Sable Point and Mears are reporting very cold waters at their beaches.
A persistent wind out of the north has pushed the less dense warm water away from shore over the last few days.
When this happens, cold water will well up from the depths of Lake Michigan and “fill in the gaps.”
Sharply cold temperatures can lead to shock or hypothermia if a swimmer falls in and can’t get quickly back out.
It can take several days for water temperatures to rebound back to the seasonal average after an upwelling event. Often times, a southerly or southwesterly wind can help push warm water back towards the beaches it previously left.
In addition to the cold water, there is a Beach Hazard Statement in effect until Tuesday afternoon for large waves and strong currents.
The overall temperature of Lake Michigan is still running warmer than average, so the much colder water is just a feature for some of our area beaches instead of a lake-wide event.
The forecast calls for much warmer weather to return again next week.