Coast Guard urges caution as gale watch is issued for Lake Michigan

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard is urging caution across the waters of Lake Michigan due to potentially hazardous weather conditions throughout the weekend.

A gale watch was issued for Lake Michigan beginning Friday morning and extending through late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, a gale watch is issued when the risk of gale force winds of 39 to 54 mph has significantly increased but the specific timing and/or location is still uncertain. It is intended to provide additional lead time for mariners who may wish to consider altering their plans.

People visiting the waters of Lake Michigan should exercise caution while the gale watch remains in effect. It is also advised to stay off rocks, jetties and piers, as high waves and heavy surf can unexpectedly sweep a person into the water.

Always check the weather forecast before recreating on or near the water. Staying aware of weather conditions could easily save your life. Even after hazardous weather patterns have moved through the area, it can still take an additional day for lake conditions to calm.

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