Beach Hazards Awareness Week June 1 - 7: Day 2

This is National Beach Hazards Awareness Week (June 1st to June 7th).  Each day the National Weather Service in Milwaukee/Sullivan will post a topic that will help you make safe decisions on the beach this summer. 

"Know Before You Go" to the Beach or Into the Water

Today's topic is the new 2014 National Weather Service Milwaukee/Sullivan Beach Forecast and Hazards program.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan office began issuing a daily Recreational Beach Forecast around 5 am CDT. 

This beach forecast will give information about that day's expected beach conditions including: air and water temperatures, wind speed and direction, and wave heights.  

Each day will also be assigned a "swim risk" of either low, moderate or high, based on what hazards are expected at the lakeshore.

The below graphic indicates what each swim risk level is associated with:

Beach Hazards Awareness Week - Day 2

When there is a high risk of swimming hazards along the Lake Michigan shore, the NWS office in Milwaukee/Sullivan will issue a "Beach Hazards Statement".  The lakeshore counties included in the Beach Hazard Statement will be highlighted on the main page of our webpage.  

Beach Hazards Statement: What hazards will be covered?

The Beach Hazards Statement will cover the enhanced threat for hazardous wave heights and dangerous currents for beaches from Sheboygan to Kenosha.  Depending on wind speed and direction, and wave direction, different beaches would be threatened by a greater risk of rip currents, longshore currents or structural currents as well as hazardous waves.  The beaches that are most susceptible that day will be highlighted in the Beach Hazard Statement. 

The NWS in Milwaukee/Sullivan will issue a "Beach Hazard Statement" when there is a high swim risk of swimming hazards caused by high waves of at least 3 to 5 feet and dangerous currents. 

A second daily Recreational Beach Forecast will be issued around 5 pm CDT that will forecast the expected beach conditions for the next day.

Before you venture out to the beach this warm season, check our website at to check the latest Recreational Beach Forecast and whether a Beach Hazard Statement is in effect for your destination.

Swimming at Lake Michigan beaches is a wonderful part of living in or visiting southeast Wisconsin, but on days when waves are high and currents are strong, it can be a dangerous activity and one that should be postponed until the hazardous conditions subside.  Please stay informed and safe this summer and enjoy the beach.

Check out the below links for more information:   

National Rip Current Safety
National Beach Hazards Safety
Great Lakes Surf & Rescue
Sea Grant Dangerous Currents

National Weather Service - Milwaukee/Sullivan








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