9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario - Page 7 - SailNet Community
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post #61 of 79 Old 12-01-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

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Just checked windy.com. Eastern Lake Ontario currently has significant wave heights of 19 feet with sustained winds of 41 knots.
19 feet wave is no joke. I never thought wave on lakes can also reach that high.
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post #62 of 79 Old 12-01-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

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19 feet wave is no joke. I never thought wave on lakes can also reach that high.
Maximum wave height on Lake Ontario is 20.43' at the eastern end of the Lake.
Periods may run from aroud 3.4 to 11 seconds

We've done 18 footers on Lake Ontario (about 20yrs ago) on the boat in the photo and on the ocean. On Lake Ontario we had 6 second periods ........ much more scary than on the ocean.

Highest recorded wave on Lake Superior was 28.8'

http://loslr.ijc.org/loslr/en/librar...%20REDUCED.pdf
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post #63 of 79 Old 12-01-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

One thing I don't like about Lake Ontario and Lake Erie waves when they get big like that, they get so steep they can lose stability and collapse. Next thing you know you are free falling. And next thing after that is a trip to the chiropractor
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post #64 of 79 Old 12-01-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

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One thing I don't like about Lake Ontario and Lake Erie waves when they get big like that, they get so steep they can lose stability and collapse. Next thing you know you are free falling. And next thing after that is a trip to the chiropractor
No question ! I'll take a 20 footer in the ocean over an 8 footer on Lake Ontario any day of the week.

The only other place I see waves like Great Lakes waves are in the east coast inlets with tide against wind.
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post #65 of 79 Old 12-01-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

Personally find you need to consider both wave height and period. Totally agree the short period seen on the Great Lakes, eastern shore inlets, north side compression zone of windwards all are miserable. Whereas ocean swells can get truly large and if period is long enough of little consequence.
Still, find a confused sea with several wave trains coming at you from different directions is the worse. Had occasion to get stuck in the Gulf Stream in gale force Wave height, direction and period was all over the place. Couldn’t even sit on the pot without a hand on the over head and one on a handhold. Sleeping was out of the question. Airborne. Wave heights weren’t extreme as they were blown down in the rain but it was miserable and scary. Had no choice as if we got through the stream the other side was fine and storm force was following us.
Ships sink in the Great Lakes and the make songs about it. They have Mac and boats get blown over and capsize. Have great respect for Great Lake sailors.
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post #66 of 79 Old 12-01-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

Each lake seems to have its own characteristics. Each of Ontario, Erie and Superior are are aligned in East- West with the prevaling winds, the result being the East end of each those lakes has a reputation for being rough. The East end of Superior is nasty, very few harbours and steep ricky shore.

Both Erie and Ontario are kind of bath tub shaped at the east end with the waves funneling into a progressively narrow gap. I am sure that funneling effect must have something to do with weather/wave patterns.

You can visit Eastern Lake Erie in March and see this effect. Looking out from Port Colborne you can see multiple lines of pressure ridges as tall as a two story house at times. The pressurised ice keeps getting foced west by the wind until it reaches right to the lake bottom, and then with nowhere else to go the wind and waves pressurise the ice into ridges that can get huge.

Couple pics of pressure ridges on Eastern Lake Erie. Lake Ontario doesn't tend to get these because its too deep. You can see a 6 foot tall man on the bow of the ship to get some scale on the size of the pressure ridges.
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post #67 of 79 Old 12-02-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

[quote=boatpoker;2051639112]Maximum wave height on Lake Ontario is 20.43' at the eastern end of the Lake.
Periods may run from aroud 3.4 to 11 seconds

We've done 18 footers on Lake Ontario (about 20yrs ago) on the boat in the photo and on the ocean. On Lake Ontario we had 6 second periods ........ much more scary than on the ocean.

Highest recorded wave on Lake Superior was 28.8'

That's some ridiculous waves. I wonder how it feels like sailing on those waves.

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post #68 of 79 Old 12-02-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

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That's some ridiculous waves. I wonder how it feels like sailing on those waves.
I have no idea. It's been many years since I got caught in that stuff and I have no interest in a repeat performance.

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post #69 of 79 Old 12-02-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

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Originally Posted by Glozing View Post
We've done 18 footers on Lake Ontario (about 20yrs ago) on the boat in the photo and on the ocean. On Lake Ontario we had 6 second periods ........ much more scary than on the ocean.

That's some ridiculous waves. I wonder how it feels like sailing on those waves.
I am not sure you would really be able to sail in a very meaning ful way in those conditions on Lake Ontario. You would be in probably 40-50 knot winds and dealing with pretty steep seas. Might be able to keep some sail up and work your way down wind to some shelter, but actually going somewhere in it would be pretty ugly.
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post #70 of 79 Old 12-02-2019
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Re: 9 foot waves with a 6 second period currently on Lake Ontario

Nice blizzard on the west end of Superior this weekend. The waves took down a local favorite rock formation:
Storm topples often-photographed sea stack at Tettegouche State Park
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