Waves from Superstorm Sandy on Lake Michigan

January 16, 2015

IMG_2426 hurricane sandy 2

Photographer: Timothy Wenzel
Summary AuthorTimothy Wenzel

Superstorm Hurricane Sandy's winds were strongly felt even in the Great Lakes region of the U.S., hundreds of miles from the New Jersey coast where it came ashore. This photo, taken not far from St. Joseph, Michigan on October 30, 2012, shows the effect of the storm's strong north winds on Lake Michigan. Sub-freezing winds exceeding 50 knots made photography very difficult.

Areas on Lake Michigan having the longest fetch, the southern part of the lake since winds were from the north, recorded possible wave heights of 15 ft (5 m) as measured from crest to trough. Near shore, the waves were quite chaotic. Locally, the highest waves occurred at the very end of the pier, sometimes standing about 5 ft (1.5 m) above pier level just before impact, or about 12 ft (4 m) from crest-trough. I should mention that I've never been pelted so hard by sleet and rain as I was in this storm. I could only remain outside for 20 minutes at a time before needing to retreat indoors to warm up.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon EOS 550D; Lens: EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM; Focal Length: 138mm; Aperture: ƒ/7.1; Exposure Time: 0.0013 s (1/800); ISO equiv: 200; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 (Macintosh).