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'Rogue' Waves as High as 15 Feet May Hit Lake Michigan Tuesday

By DNAinfo Staff on July 22, 2013 4:30pm

 Waves from last fall's "Frankenstorm" pummeled the lakefront.
Waves from last fall's "Frankenstorm" pummeled the lakefront.
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Getty Images/Scott Olson

DOWNTOWN — With threats of dangerous pounding waves, an occasional 15-foot rogue wave and "life-threatening rip currents," the National Weather Service is telling swimmers to stay out of Lake Michigan on Tuesday.

Of course, high waves might be exactly what Chicago's surfers are looking for.

Between Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening, swimmers are advised to stay out of Lake Michigan, according to a National Weather Service statement.

By Tuesday night, waves could reach 6 to 9 feet, caused by winds forecast to reach up to 25 mph.

"Do not venture out onto break walls or too close to the breaking waves, as occasional rogue waves could reach up to 15 feet and potentially sweep you out into the lake," the weather service warned.

"The surf community in Chicago will be excited for that for sure," said Jess Bell, a co-owner of Lakeview's Windward Boardshop, 3317 N. Clark St. "They will take advantage of it when it is here."

Bell, who isn't a Lake Michigan surfer herself, said summers rarely offer the winds needed to bring out the boards on Lake Michigan.

Surfing is legal at only two beaches in the city during the summer: Montrose and 57th Street.

As of Monday afternoon, the Chicago Park District had issued swim bans at seven beaches due to weather conditions: Fargo, Howard, Jarvis, Juneway, Leone, Loyola and Rogers.

Earlier this month, the weather service issued a similar warning, telling swimmers to stay out of Lake Michigan.