In the coming days, expect to see more water spouts than usual on Lake Michigan. They are caused by cold air over warm water and are not necessarily associated with strong storms. Water spouts are tornado-like funnels that typically fizzle out before hitting shore and easily avoided by small boats. This year's unusually hot summer has been particularly good for producing water spouts. The US coast Guard Thursday reported multiple waterspouts on Lake Michigan three to five miles from the coast of Manistee. There also were reports of waterspouts on Lake Superior. In the meantime, the National Weather Service is advising swimmers to approach Lake Michigan with caution today due to strong winds, high waves and "likely" rip currents. Citing particularly dangerous conditions, it has issued a beach hazards statement in effect through Saturday morning.
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