Development of an Observation, Forecasting, and Warning System for Rip Currents at Three Beaches in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior

Project Lead: University of Wisconsin-Madison – Chin Wu
Partners: Minnesota Sea Grant College Program, NOAA/National Ocean Service, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
Geographic Scope: Duluth, MN; Milwaukee, WI and Port Washington, WI

Real-time observations of rip currents are currently not available for the shorelines in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. This project will use innovative beach hazard forecasting technology to improve rip current identification, forecasting and public notification. Video-imaging will allow for identification and detection of hazardous wave conditions. Computer models will be applied to the beaches, which will allow researchers to better predict hazardous wave conditions. Three rip-current-prone beaches are being targeted, including Bradford Beach (Milwaukee, WI), North Beach (Port Washington, WI), and Park Point Beach (Duluth, MN). Project members will coordinate with local communities to apply the results of the project to improve the management and public safety at their beaches, and increase public awareness about dangerous waves and currents in the Great Lakes.