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Seiche devastating wave known here

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They sweep into coastlines, often without warning, and have been known to leave destruction and even death in their wake.

Tsunamis they are not, but seiches, a primarily freshwater phenomenon generated by air pressure changes or strong squall lines, have wreaked their share of havoc along the shores of Lake Michigan through the years.

A seiche (pronounced saysh) occurs after some sort of disturbance, such as high winds, displaces water from one side of an enclosed or semi-enclosed body of water and pushes it toward the other.

For example, explained Randy Graham, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Grand Rapids, a strong line of thunderstorms moving east from Chicago across Lake Michigan could create waves that push water from the west to the east side of the lake.   more...

 



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A Seiche in the Great Lakes of Huron or Michigan would more likely affect the Southern or northern shores. The fetch of the lakes run along this axis, as do the typical severe weather systems. In the early 1990's, the date escapes me now, Sarnia Yacht Club basin was severly damaged due to a seiche. Combined low pressure in Lake Huron and strong southerly wind drew the water out of the basin. This grounded many boats in their slips. When the water reurned with some force, boats were forced up under the fixed docks and many were crushed or suffered damage to bow pulpets and deck equipment. The seiche caused water to at first lower about 3-4 feet then returned with a volume of water 3-4 feet over mean level. A cycle of 6 to 8 feet. Much like a Tsunami.2/5/2005 9:52:54 AM
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