A warning for dangerous swimming conditions on Lake Michigan beaches from St. Joseph north to Whitehall is in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday through 2 a.m. Friday.
The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has issued the Beach Hazards Statement for high wave action, strong currents and dangerous swimming conditions.
Beaches with particularly dangerous conditions include: North Beach in South Haven, Holland State Park and Muskegon State Park.
— North winds of 15-25 mph expected Thursday.
— Waves of 3-5 feet and a high swim hazard risk from Thursday morning through early Friday.
— Strong structural and longshore currents are expected.
— Rip currents are possible.
High wave action makes swimming difficult and can tire even a strong swimmer quickly.
Structural currents form along piers where longshore currents and wave action flow into the structure. Structural currents can sweep you out into deeper water along the pier structure.
A longshore current is a lake current that moves parallel to shore. Longshore currents can be strong enough to prevent swimmers from being able to keep their feet on the bottom, making it difficult to return to shore.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in sandbars. Rip currents can sweep you into deeper water.
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