Anyone boating on Lake Michigan waters Monday should exercise the utmost caution, the National Weather Service warned.
The agency issued gale warnings and small craft advisories for Lake Michigan off the shore of Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas, meaning mariners should prepare for fierce winds and waves several feet high.
Forecasters expect winds to reach speeds of up to about 29-40 mph, and waves to reach heights of up to 7-9 feet throughout the day, the NWS' Romeoville, Illinois, and Syracuse, Indiana, offices reported.
As of Monday morning, small craft advisories were slated to last from 7 p.m. Monday to 1 a.m. Tuesday in Lake and Porter counties and until 4 a.m. Tuesday in LaPorte County.
Gale warnings were in effect from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday in Lake and Porter counties, and from noon to 8 p.m. Monday in LaPorte County.
NWS urged boaters without sufficient experience or proper equipment to avoid being on the lake while advisories are in effect.
Additionally, the NWS' Great Lakes Beach Hazards map showed forecasters declared a high swim risk at Northwest Indiana beaches. Waves could reach heights of up to 7 feet in Lake and Porter counties and up to 8 feet in LaPorte County, NWS said.
Skies will be mostly cloudy throughout the day, with a chance of showers in Porter and LaPorte counties, and a slight chance of waterspouts in LaPorte County.