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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Don’t Swim Today: ‘Life-Threatening’ Waves And Rip Currents Possible At All City Beaches

The weather is expected to be beautiful, but conditions in Lake Michigan are too dangerous for swimming, forecasters say.


DOWNTOWN — Everyone should skip swimming at Chicago’s beaches on Friday, experts are warning.

The weather could be dangerously misleading on Friday, said Ricky Castro, a National Weather Service meteorologist: It’ll be in the 70s along the lakefront and largely sunny, but the lake won’t be safe due to waves and possible rip currents.

Waves are expected to be 3 to 6 feet tall due to gusty winds, and dangerous currents will likely accompany the waves, Castro said. Weather like Friday’s is when Lake Michigan sees the most fatalities and rescues, Castro said, because people think they can “take a chance” since the waves aren’t huge.

“They’re not giant, but they’re dangerous enough,” Castro said. “While it’s a beautiful day, there is a hazard out on the lake. … It’d be nice to be out there, but it’s best to not take a chance with conditions like that.”

The National Weather Service has said there is a high swim risk in Chicago and issued a beach hazards statement, warning of “high wave action and dangerous swimming conditions” and “life-threatening waves and currents.” The agency also issued an advisory to those in small boats

Outside of the lake, the city will see temperatures in the 70s, with western neighborhoods creeping closer to the low 80s, Castro said. No rain is expected.

It’ll be “a really nice day, [a] nice break from the heat and humidity we’ve had so frequently over the last month,” Castro said. “Just really beautiful conditions.”

The lake is expected to be calmer on Saturday, when the day’s weather should be similar, if not slightly warmer, than it was on Friday.