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Great Lakes Fluctuations Sometimes Extreme

All week, forecasters have been warning about the possibility of a phenomenon known as seiches along Lake Michigan.

They are a common occurrence on the Great Lakes — continuous oscillations that shift the water level, usually minutely. But in extreme cases, they can cause a huge water level drop-off — like in July 1995, when a seiche in Lake Superior caused the water to rise and fall in the lake by 3 feet in 15 minutes, or in June 1954, when a 10-foot seiche hit Chicago's lakefront, sweeping away eight fishermen who drowned.

Dr. Stephen Bortone, the director of Minnesota Sea Grant, part of the University of Minnesota, talks with Robert Siegel.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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