CLEVELAND, Ohio — The U.S. Coast Guard is urging caution across the waters of the Great Lakes due to potentially hazardous weather conditions throughout the weekend.
Gale watches and warnings have been issued for many areas throughout the Great Lakes for Saturday and continuing through the weekend.
According to the National Weather Service, a gale watch is issued when the risk of gale force winds of 39 to 54 mph has significantly increased but the specific timing and/or location is still uncertain. It is intended to provide additional lead time for mariners who may wish to consider altering their plans.
The Coast Guard said people visiting shoreline areas should exercise caution while the watches and warnings remain in effect. It is strongly encouraged to stay off rocks, jetties and piers, as high waves and heavy surf can unexpectedly sweep a person into the water.
The Coast Guard urged mariners to always check the weather forecast before recreating on or near the water. Staying aware of weather conditions could easily save your life. Even after hazardous weather patterns have moved through the area, it can still take an additional day for lake conditions to calm.