Hazardous swimming advisory continues

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:48 PM

The beach hazards advisory area includes Ottawa, Muskegon, Mason, Oceana, Allegan and VanBuren counties — from St. Joseph north to Manistee.

* High wave action, strong currents and dangerous swimming conditions are expected.

* Strong structural currents expected.

* Strong longshore currents expected.

* Rip currents expected.

* Beaches with particularly dangerous conditions include Holland State Park and Muskegon State Park.

* Waves of 3-7 feet will diminish this evening.

* North sides of northern piers/breakwalls will be the most dangerous area. Waterspouts will also be possible.

High wave action makes swimming difficult and can tire even a strong swimmer quickly.

Structural currents form along piers where longshore currents and wave action flow into the structure. Structural currents can sweep you out into deeper water along the pier structure.

A longshore current is a lake current that moves parallel to shore. Longshore currents can be strong enough to prevent swimmers from being able to keep their feet on the bottom, making it difficult to return to shore.

Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in sandbars. Rip currents can sweep you into deeper water.

The forecast for the Grand Haven area:

The rest of the afternoon: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 60. West-northwest wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Tonight: A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8 pm, then a chance of showers between 8 pm and 2 am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. North-northwest wind 7 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Wednesday: A chance of sprinkles between 8 am and 1 pm, then a slight chance of showers after 1 pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 64. Northwest wind 7 to 14 mph.

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