Bizarre 16-foot waves forecast for Lake Michigan near Chicago as extreme storm hits Midwest

Wind speeds up to 50mph predicted in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. Lakeshore flooding warnings are in place

Jade Bremner
Thursday 23 September 2021 13:14
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16-foot waves forecast for Lake Michigan, Chicago’s lakefront closed for swimming
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Extreme winds are set to bring waves as high as 16ft to Michigan's Great Lakes on Thursday, as strong storm conditions strike the Midwest.

The storm system developed on Wednesday and will become stronger on Thursday, with wind speeds up to 50 mph in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

Lake Erie and Lake Huron are set to see some of the highest waves. There is a lakeshore flooding warning in place along the Indiana shore.

While kite and wind surfers have been tempted in by the unusual lake swells in the area, Chicago’s Fire Department explained that the lakefront was “closed for swimming” as it was too dangerous during the adverse weather conditions.

There are also warnings in place for jogging and walking along the lakefront, but some people are ignoring the advice.

As waves pounded North Avenue Beach, Chicago, in the early hours of Thursday, local resident Amy told WGN News that she “saw a couple of close calls” with people near the lake. “I saw a woman get knocked off her feet and almost dragged out into the lake,” she said.

Meteorologist Cheryl Scott, of ABC7 news, posted a video of a runner getting caught by a wave off Lake Michigan.

Walkers and bikers have also been pounded by waves.

“Wow, I grew up right alongside the Lake on Chicago’s South Side, and I have NEVER heard of anything like this,” said one Twitter user “Weather is getting weirder.”

Scientists and experts maintain that climate change is contributing to extreme weather events around the US and the world: “Climate change is expected to worsen the frequency, intensity, and impacts of some types of extreme weather events,” states the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

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