VIDEO: America’s ‘Inland Seas’

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Wind and weather conditions create the waves of the Great Lakes. The speed, direction and duration of the wind affect the size of a wave, as does the length of water the wind blows over and the bottom contours over which waves are breaking.

Generated by specific winds and changes of atmosphere, meteotsunamis and seiches are two types of rare waves that have been observed on the Great Lakes.

Mike Torregrossa of MLive weather explains:

Although the Great Lakes are not oceans, their waves can reach sizes comparable to ocean waves, with waves on lakes Michigan, Superior, Ontario and Huron surpassing 20 feet.