The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Massive Storm Whips Up Lake Michigan

This week one of the largest storms to ever hit the Midwest struck. High, sustained winds whipped up Lake Michigan as the barometric pressure dropped to a point lower than during the storm that sunk the Edmond Fitzgerald lake freighter in 1975.

Gusts from the storm were measured at over 60 mph near the lake. Sustained, westerly winds across Lake Michigan caused waves exceeding 20 feet tall.

This map depicts wave data from Lake Michigan on Wednesday. Orange means waves over 15 feet, red is around 20! All this wind causes a massive 'standing wave' or seiche as the lake water is pushed to the east.

Below is a photo from the roughest day on my Lake Trek. My son and I had sustained winds of 35 mph with gusts over 45.

The lake is a living entity. It can rage or whisper...murmur or scream.

And if it ices over in the winter it is briefly, eerily silent.

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