Forecasters predict fierce winds and high waves at Northwest Indiana beaches through Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service announced.
Officially specifically advised small vessels and inexperience boaters to stay out of the lake due to possible hazardous wave conditions.
Small craft advisories were issued and remain in effect through 1 p.m. Friday, for Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, as well as surrounding shores in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Anyone navigating the waters can expect northwest winds of about 29 mph, and waves of up to 7-9 feet, NWS said.
At Region lakefronts, an NWS Great Lakes conditions map showed high swim risks were in effect for Northwest Indiana beaches and the shoreline of western Michigan.
Waves could reach heights of 4-7 feet in the Region. West to northwest winds are expected to reach speeds of up to 25 mph in Lake and Porter counties, and up to 10 mph in LaPorte County.
Beach hazards statements were not in effect as of Thursday afternoon.
Beachgoers should exercise caution and avoid getting into the water if conditions worsen. Shoreline currents can quickly develop and pose the threat of sweeping bystanders into deeper water.
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project reports that 53 people have drowned in Lake Michigan since the beginning of 2020, marking a record high. Its previous record was 49 drownings, during 2012. Statistics were last updated Sept. 11.
For the most up-to-date weather conditions at lakefront beaches, visit www.weather.gov/greatlakes/beachhazards.