Seiche on Lake Michigan

September 4th, 2014 at 9:28 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Seiche Petoskey 9 4 14 Petoskey City Marina and upnorthlve   A rare seiche occurred on Lake Michigan this morning.  The strong, thunderstorm induced S-SW wind blew surface water toward the Michigan side of the lake, causing the water level to rise.  The picture shows a significant rise in the water level of Lake Michigan at the Petoskey Marina, where the water rose over the docks!   At the same time the water level fell in Wisconsin.  As the winds die down the water sloshes back toward Wisconsin and can rise and fall several times before leveling off.  There were a number of fatalities in Chicago due to a seiche in 1954.   Seven people lost their lives in a seiche here in SW Michigan on July 4, 2003.   Strong low pressure centers can create a “standing seiche”.  Here’s an example of that from Oct. 2010.

28 Responses to “Seiche on Lake Michigan”

  1. TomKap (Michigan & Fuller - GR) says:

    Soon, it will be all ice.
    Hey Bill, your competition just posted on Facebook that the European model has ‘snow flurries’ in our forecast for next weekend.

    SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Won’t happen – at least not in my viewing area.

      1. TomKap (Michigan & Fuller - GR) says:

        that includes mine.
        whew.

  2. Brenda Cowels (Otsego) says:

    Wow! My sis lives in Petoskey. That’s very interesting.

  3. Mr. Negative says:

    Seiche…interesting event. Flashes to the North, thunderheads lighting-up.

  4. INDY says:

    We welcome thee NFL back now we just need snow!! Best time of the year is now!! INDYY!!

    1. Jack says:

      Hey, INDY keep Your EYE EYE to The West,,Time for BILL right NOW,,,,on TV 8 !!! He is not only GREAT Bill IS The BEST!! Stay CUEDDDD. hearing DISTANT THUNDER as I TYPE….

  5. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Pouring really hard right now, at least 1″ per hour rates. So far today I have had 1 and 1/2″ of rain.

  6. Jack says:

    Holy SEICHE !! LOL,,,,,stAy CUEDD

  7. I am in Sand Lake right now just barely into Montcalm County and lightning is continuous!

  8. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Flood advisory now issued for central and southern Muskegon county.

  9. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Now approaching 2 and 1/2″ of rain for the day, 1″ alone has fallen in the past hour.

  10. I decided to get in the car since we are camping up here. I am now in southern Newaygo County. Incredible lightning and rain!

    1. Jack says:

      ENJOY….Stay Safe & CueDD !! PICS. ??

  11. Bernie at the lakeshore says:

    Wow, amazing lightning over the lake west of me. Constant thunder. A lot of people are going to wake up soon.

    1. Jack says:

      I’m jealous…..

      1. Bernie at the lakeshore says:

        The ground us shaking! :)

        1. Jack says:

          Sure,,,,Rub it IN !! Low Rumbles ( distant ) at Best HERE ! Dough…… ;-)

        2. Jack says:

          And CUE: Shake, Rattle and Roll – Bill Haley and his Comets – YouTube
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B7xr_EjbzE
          Heeeheee..ENJOY!!!

  12. John (Norton Shores) says:

    3 feet of standing water on Sherman! WOW!!

  13. Mike Geukes says:

    0100 AM HEAVY RAIN 3 E MUSKEGON 43.23N 86.20W
    09/05/2014 M2.36 INCH MUSKEGON MI PUBLIC

    STORM TOTAL PRECIP ON HARVEY ST. IN MUSKEGON
    THROUGH 1 AM

    0119 AM HEAVY RAIN 1 N NORTON SHORES 43.17N 86.25W
    09/05/2014 M2.50 INCH MUSKEGON MI PUBLIC

    1255 AM FLOOD 1 WNW ROOSEVELT PARK 43.21N 86.29W
    09/05/2014 MUSKEGON MI LAW ENFORCEMENT

    REPORT OF 3 FEET OF STANDING WATER NEAR A
    MCDONALD`S ON W SHERMAN BLVD. ADDITIONAL
    REPORTS OF 3 FEET OF STANDING WATER ON
    SEAWAY DRIVE NEAR LAKETON AND W SUMMIT
    AVENUES.

  14. Mike Geukes says:

    BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
    SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND RAPIDS MI
    135 AM EDT FRI SEP 5 2014

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND RAPIDS HAS ISSUED A

    * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
    CENTRAL MUSKEGON COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL MICHIGAN…

    * UNTIL 200 AM EDT

    * AT 133 AM EDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR LAKEWOOD
    CLUB…AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 25 MPH.

    HAZARD…QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

    SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

    IMPACT…DAMAGE TO VEHICLES IS EXPECTED.

    * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
    WHITEHALL… BRUNSWICK… DALTON…
    TWIN LAKE… HOLTON… LAKEWOOD CLUB…
    BLUE LAKE… CLEAR LAKE…

  15. Mike Geukes says:

    FLOOD WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND RAPIDS MI
    104 AM EDT FRI SEP 5 2014

    MIC121-051100-
    /O.NEW.KGRR.FA.W.0011.140905T0504Z-140905T1100Z/
    /00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
    MUSKEGON MI-
    104 AM EDT FRI SEP 5 2014

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND RAPIDS HAS ISSUED A

    * FLOOD WARNING FOR…
    CENTRAL MUSKEGON COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL MICHIGAN…

    * UNTIL 700 AM EDT

    * AT 1 AM EDT…EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REPORTED FLOODING IN MUSKEGON
    FROM SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORMS WITH VERY HEAVY RAINFALL. FROM 2 TO
    3 INCHES OF RAIN HAD FALLEN IN MUSKEGON AND UP TO THEE FEET OF
    WATER WAS ON WEST SHERMAN BOULEVARD…SEAWAY DRIVE…LAKETON
    AVENUE…AND WEST SUMMIT AVENUE.

    * RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING TO OCCUR.
    SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE…MUSKEGON…
    WHITEHALL…NORTON SHORES AND ROOSEVELT PARK.

  16. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    It’s a fascinating phenomenon I would love to experience one day. I mean, the force it takes to move that much water is incredible.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Earlier this summer, my sister caught a seiche on camera, here at Gun Lake. The channel she lived on was half-emptied by a strong north wind; meanwhile, near my house on the south side, boats were floating off boat lifts by the higher water level and waves….LOL!

      The other “effect” we get in the winter doesn’t have an official name – just “ice heave” – but the wind can also move several miles of heavy, solid ice in a storm, too. It’s why NOBODY on a large lake leaves docks or boat lifts in the water after November; and most of us have thick concrete seawalls to protect against losing 5′ or more of frontage each winter…

  17. Roger says:

    Hey, Bill, a friend of mine wrote of a 1929 seiche in Grand Haven, from mlive:
    From mlive: 10 people died when 20-foot waves were recorded on July 4, 1929 at Grand Haven State Park. A series of seiches attacked Grand Haven shoreline after an early morning storm. The seiche buried the Grand Haven pier, sweeping people off, and rip currents carried several more people away away from the beach.

  18. My book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, explains what a seiche is plus many more interesting facts about the Great Lakes system.

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