Friday, April 15, 2011

Waves building on Lake Michigan

Last night, the wind began to blow out of the north, shifting to the northeast and then to the east at speeds of 20 to 30 knots.

A low pressure system moves in, bringing wind and waves.
Here on the southwest corner of Lake Michigan, that translates into considerable wave heights.

Wind data from a water intake crib off shore.
By noon today, the waves were surpassing the break walls and things were getting pretty chaotic.

At Montrose Beach, one of the best surfing spots in Chicago, the waves were 5 to 7 feet, with clapotis in places adding a few more feet. 

If this front moves through as predicted, the wind should be out of the south tomorrow, and the waves should clean up and provide some good surfing, though the water temperature will still be in the low 40s. Local paddlers are already making plans to take advantage of this early-season surfing opportunity.

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