Storms approaching West Michigan are predicted to generate some high winds and knockout power to numerous communities, now the National Weather Service is warning that Tuesday can mean risky business on Lake Michigan.
The NWS predicts wind gusts will peak this afternoon between 25 and 45 mph out of the southwest, making the south side of piers unsafe. Waves could get between 6 and 10 feet north of Holland and 4 to 6 feet south of Holland.
The high wave action and strong currents are expected to bring dangerous swimming conditions from St. Joseph to Manistee. Beaches with particularly dangerous conditions include South Beach in South Haven, Grand Haven State Park and Pere Marquette in Muskegon. The NWS says the high wave will continue to pose a hazard to swimmers on Wednesday.
Due to the high surf and elevated lake levels, there is a high risk for lakeshore flooding. Coastal flooding and beach erosion are of particular concern. Significant beach erosion is possible on the lakeshore -- especially at the base of dunes and bluffs. The worst conditions will be Tuesday afternoon from Holland northward.
The NWS has also issued a Gale Warning, which remains in effect from 8 a.m. Tuesday morning until 8 p.m. this evening. Boaters and mariners are not safe on Lake Michigan today, the NWS recommends only those with proper experience and equipped vessels take to the water.
The possible two rounds of storms are expected to pick up starting around noon today. There will be damaging wind gusts, downed tree limbs and power lines, as well as hail large enough to damage cars and windows. The NWS is also reporting the possibility of a tornado or two mainly after 4 p.m. and along and south of I-96.
Consumers Energy is prepping crews for the possibility of widespread power outages due to the severe weather.
As the storm dissipates Tuesday night, cooler air will follow Wednesday and Thursday.
For up-to-date weather forecasts, visit www.wzzm13.com/weather.
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