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Occasional Threat for Showers/Storms through Monday Night

Humidity has returned to the region and so has the risk for rain at times, though plenty of dry periods are also expected especially today. The most likely time frame for rain would be early Monday morning and then again late Monday night. Read More >

October 22th, 2019: Large Waves, High Winds, and Beach Erosion (Again)

Large wave hitting Beach Street in Muskegon on October 22nd, 2019


On Tuesday, October 22th, 2019, a storm system brought high winds and large waves to the West Michigan lakeshore for the second time in the span of a week. Wind gusts topped 50 mph and waves grew to more than 10 feet in height downing trees along the lakeshore and causing significant beach and sand dune erosion, respectively. Unlike during the October 16th, 2019 event which hit areas roughly from Grand Haven southward hard, this storm was worst from Grand Haven northward where more than 10 feet of dune bluff was eroded in a 24 hour period due to the combination of near-record Lake Michigan water levels and large waves.  Any fall storms that bring a period of high waves will continue to cause bluff erosion and lakeshore flooding.

 

This storm also impacted northern Lower Michigan.  See a summary created by NWS Gaylord

 

 

 

 


Large Waves:

Large waves developed on Lake Michigan within a southwesterly to westerly fetch. Wave heights of 10 to 12 feet were common, with a maximum wave height of over 16 feet measured just offshore of Muskegon. The largest waves stretched roughly from Grand Haven northward and lasted for nearly 24 hours. 

Photo
Time series of wave heights measured by the buoy near Holland, Michigan on October 22nd, 2019. Note the duration of highest wave heights lasted more than 24 hours. 

 

Photo
Time series of wave heights measured by the buoy near South Haven, Michigan on October 22nd, 2019. Note the duration of highest wave heights lasted more than 24 hours. 

 


The average water level on Lake Michigan was roughly 2.7 feet (~32 inches) above normal when the storm hit, which is near-record level. The combination of the near-record high water levels and large waves for 24 hours led to significant erosion. 

 


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