Safety officials: High swim risk on west Michigan beaches Monday

'Do not enter the water,' National Weather Service said

Photo of Angela Mulka
The National Weather Service suggested Michiganders do not enter the water on Lake Michigan Monday.

The National Weather Service suggested Michiganders do not enter the water on Lake Michigan Monday.

Photo provided/Lake Huron MODIS imagery

All west Michigan beaches will have hazardous conditions through late Monday evening with a high swim risk, the National Weather Service reported.

Life-threatening waves and currents are expected on Lake Michigan beaches from Charlevoix to Manistee, including the Leelanau Peninsula and Beaver Island.

Because of gusty southwest winds, rapidly breaking waves are expected to reach three to five feet along the Lake Michigan beaches of northwest Lower Michigan, according to the NWS. The high wave action will create hazardous currents, including rip currents, along the shore.

Because of gusty southwest winds, rapidly breaking waves are expected to reach three to five feet along the Lake Michigan beaches of northwest Lower Michigan, according to the NWS. The high wave action will create hazardous currents, including rip currents, along the shore.

Graphic provided/NWS

"Please use caution along the lakeshore today!" The Michigan State Police wrote in a Tweet on Monday. Of all five Great Lakes, the most fatalities related to dangerous nearshore currents and high rapidly-breaking waves occur in Lake Michigan.

The NWS suggested Michiganders do not enter the water Monday.

If you decide to head into the water, the NWS suggested the following: 

  • Take the threat of high surf "very seriously" and know your swimming ability.
  • Stay away from the water around piers, breakwaters and jetties where currents can develop parallel to these structures, pulling you away from shore. They are known as structural currents.
  • Always have a flotation device with you in the water.
  • Review and know rip current safety. Below is a YouTube video series on rip current safety.

Learn more about the threat of high waves and the types of currents that can develop at beaches by visiting the Great Lakes Beach Hazard Page.