A warning for dangerous swimming conditions at Region beaches was extended from the end of Friday into Saturday morning, the National Weather Service said.
Beach visitors were urged to stay out of the water early Friday through Saturday morning, as strong, potentially life-threatening waves and currents were expected.
Forecasters anticipated waves 3 to 6 feet tall, along with strong rip currents and structural currents, according to a beach hazards statement from NWS.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water that flow quickly away from the shore. They can sweep swimmers into deeper water, potentially causing drowning.
Also Friday, NWS predicted isolated thunderstorms to move through Northwest Indiana, bringing strong wind gusts that will add to hazardous swimming conditions.
Winds could reach up to 25 mph Friday in parts of the Region, forecasters said.
The threat of severe storms was mainly along and south of Rockford to Joilet and to the Rensselaer line, NWS said early Friday.
Thunderstorm risks were expected through the weekend and again during the middle of the following week.
There have been 16 drownings in Lake Michigan so far in 2020, The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project reported Thursday.
A 12-year-old Chicago Heights, Illinois, boy drowned Thursday in Lake Michigan after he went missing at Marquette Beach earlier, officials said. He was identified as Jerail C. Lee Jr.
Swim advisories had not been issued, and water conditions were smooth at the time, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.
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