The U.S. Coast Guard is asking people to stay off the piers when harsh weather hits the area this weekend.
“There’s nasty weather coming in,” Station Grand Haven Petty Officer Dustin McClelland told the Grand Haven Tribune. “There will be 14-plus-footers in the middle of the lake, gale-force winds and the first snowfall.”
McClelland said big waves always attract spectators, but that they should watch from a safe distance.
“Stay off the piers,” he said. “You never know when a wave is going to wash you off. It’s really not safe to be out there.”
It will continue to be unseasonably warm today and Friday, but temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 30s and lower 40s Friday night and through the weekend.
Wind gusts today could be up to 25 mph, with stronger gusts this weekend. “Blustery” is one of the terms the National Weather Service used in its forecast to describe the weekend.
Wind gusts of more than 40 mph could lead to scattered power outages Friday night into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Slick roads are possible Saturday into Saturday night due to snow showers and temperatures near freezing.
McClelland said water temperatures are also dropping. Lake Michigan was about 55 degrees on Wednesday, with the Grand River and Spring Lake slightly cooler.
The water in Government Basin measured at 50 degrees, McClelland said. At this temperature, if you fall into the water, it will be extremely hard for you to move within minutes, he said.
“Hypothermia will set in very quickly — a lot quicker than people realize,” McClelland said.