Warning for swimmers: Lake Michigan is still very cold


(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A warning from health officials for those looking to cool off from the hot Memorial weekend weather with a jump into Lake Michigan.

The National Weather Service said the water temperature on Lake Michigan is still in the upper 40's to mid-50's, which creates a real danger for hypothermia.

With temperatures in the air expected to hit 90 degrees in some parts of West Michigan, experts warn going from hot beach weather into 60 degree water can shock your body.

Doctors want swimmers to know you can die of hypothermia in under an hour. Jumping into water that is over your head can cause an even bigger shock, causing you to involuntarily swallow water and drown, according to health experts.

Experts said while the cold water does present a danger, it does not mean you cannot go in at all.

"Take it slow. Acclimate yourself," said Dave Benjamin with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. "Get your toes in first, feet first. Don't jump into deep water over your head. And whenever possible, swim near a lifeguard because you're much safety swimming near a lifeguard at the beach."

With temperatures in the 90's and high humidity, doctors also want to warn people about the risks for heat stroke. They say if you are sitting in the sun with no shade, that can cause problems. So remember to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks.

Check your forecast here.

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