Chicago’s beaches are officially open – sort of.
Although seasonal swimming in Lake Michigan from the city’s public beaches is permitted beginning Friday, the best action recommended on Sunday was to stay out of the water today, forecasters said. It’s not just because of the possibility of strong winds, high waves and rip currents – the water is also still too cold for comfort.
There will be mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the 80s on Sunday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Zachary Yack. And while that might sound like good news for beachgoers after dealing with a gloomy spring, visitors are urged to take precautionary measures ahead of Monday, the unofficial start of summer. Public beaches are generally open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but Chicago has “open” the beaches starting Friday.
The Weather Service reported dangerous swimming conditions along the lake in Lake County, Illinois on Sunday due to strong southerly winds that will generate 3 to 5 foot waves, as well as strong rip currents. .
There is also a moderate risk at most Chicago beaches, with wind gusts as strong as 30 to 40 mph, according to Yack.
“Temperatures are still in the low to mid-50s (Sunday), so you may face cold water shock and even some hypothermia after being in the water too long” , Yack said. “If they are going to come in, definitely have a life jacket present to avoid having hypothermia problems.”
Consistent dry weather is forecast for the remainder of Sunday and into Monday.
Temperatures on Monday will be in the mid to high 80s and possibly into the 90s, according to Yack.
The National Weather Service provides daily updated beach forecasts containing information on “risk of swimming”, the threat of high waves and dangerous currents.