Tsunami-like Waves Can Hit Michigan
Waves that can cause damage, injury and even death can crash onto our shore line.
Tsunamis are known around the world, but in our little corner of it, we need to beware of meteotsunamis. nws.eather.gov explained metersunamis as...
"Meteotsunamis are regional in nature. In the United States, conditions for destructive meteotsunamis are most favorable along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and in the Great Lakes, where they may pose a greater threat than earthquake-generated tsunamis."
Engr.wisc.edu said that waves have been reported to be as large as 18 feet high in fact it was reported...
The term “meteotsunami” is a contraction of “meteorological tsunami,” which translates from Latin and Japanese as “a harbor wave caused by weather.” Storms at the right speed and intensity, moving over water that is the right depth can cause a wave front. Once the wave shoals and breaks on shore, it can reach nine to 18 feet tall.
- May 27, 2012—Lake Erie: A seven-foot wave hit the shoreline near Cleveland, Ohio, sweeping beach-goers off of their feet and swamping boats in harbors.
- June 26, 1954—Lake Michigan: A 10-foot wave struck the shoreline near Chicago, Illinois, sweeping several people off piers. Seven lives were lost.
Other Great Lakes events attributed to seiches but most likely caused by meteotsunamis include:
- July 4, 1929 – a six meter wave surged over the pier in Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven, Mich., killing ten people.
- July 13, 1938 – a three-meter wave struck Holland State Park in Holland, Mich., drowning five people.
- July 13, 1995 – large waves were reported on lakes Superior, Huron and Erie, but no deaths.
- May 31, 1998 – a straight-line windstorm hit the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, sinking a tugboat. Parts of western Michigan were declared a federal disaster area.
- May 27, 2012 – three swimmers were rescued after a meteotsunami swept them a half-mile into Lake Erie near Madison, Ohio.
- Sept. 5, 2014 – Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on Lake Superior experienced shoreline flooding from a water-level surge.
In some parts of the world, they are common enough to have local names: rissaga (Catalan), ressaca (Portuguese), milghuba (Maltese), marrobbio (Italian), abiki (Japanese), šćiga (Croatian).
With the unpredictable weather we have seen this Spring, who knows what is right around the corner!