20-Foot Waves Forecast for Great Lakes Due to Heavy Winter Storm

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Massive waves up to 20 feet tall are beginning to form on the Great Lakes due to strong winds associated with a winter storm that brought heavy snow and rain to the region, reports CNN.

Large swells have already been spotted onLake Michigan and Lake Ontario could get up to 20-foot waves at its center, reported CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy. On the southern shores of Lake Erie and Lake Huron, waves could reach heights of up to 10 feet.

The monstrous scale of these waves comes down to high wind speed and fetch—the length of water over which strong winds blow.

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The area’s heavy snowfall, as well as blizzard warnings, are partly due to the low ice coverage on the lakes this season, Guy reports.

This year, the ice coverage on the lakes is the lowest it’s been since 1973 (just 9 percent), according to NY Daily News. This percentage is much lower than the usual 42 percent of ice coverage on the lakes. This ultimately cuts off the moisture source for snow.

With blizzard warnings in New York (south of Buffalo and north of Syracuse), hurricane-force winds could hit the Maine coast with high wind advisories in effect from Vermont to South Carolina, reports CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen. He goes on to state that travel in the area will be nearly impossible.

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While surfing on the Great Lakes is a popular activity for locals and surf hounds around the world, it doesn’t look likely that the conditions are going to be favorable for a mid-winter session during this storm. With weather of this magnitude, it’s important to stay smart and safe.

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