As Hurricane Sandy makes its way across the east coast on Monday, National Weather Service officials say residents of the Midwest should be prepared for continually growing winds and high waves on Lake Michigan.
A small craft advisory is in effect through Monday evening, with wind gusts expected to be between 25 and 38 mph on the lake, according to NWS Meteorologist Morgan Brooks. A gale warning takes effect Monday night and will last through Tuesday night, with winds between 39 and 54 mph over the lake.
"Basically, as Sandy moves closer to the shore and makes landfall it's going to ... affect us," she said. "Already you can see it a bit over Lake Michigan. The winds are expected to increase as Sandy moves."
Waves are expected to get to 4 to 7 feet by Monday, and reach up to 16 feet high on Tuesday in southeastern Wisconsin. In open waters farther from shore, Brooks said waves could be in the range of 30 feet high.
On land, lakeshore counties can expect wind gusts between 30 to 40 mph on Tuesday, she said, and those counties inland can prepare for winds between 20 to 30 mph. Though Wednesday may remain a little windy, Brooks said it will be dying down by then.
The warnings include a stretch of the lake that starts in Sheboygan, goes through Illinois and Indiana, and ends up at South Haven, MI.
Waves are expected to get as high as 25 feet in the Chicago area, according to the National Weather Service, and a lakeshore flood watch is also in effect through Monday night in that area, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The hurricane's arrival is also having an effect on the area's temperatures, the Chicago Tribune says, keeping the cooler weather around. The high in Milwaukee is 48 on Monday and 47 on Tuesday.