I always hear that Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It’s also the start of our Michigan boating season. Here’s a look at the boating weather this weekend, so you can plan the best times to boat on your particular side of a lake.
The precipitation forecast is easy to cover for this weekend. It should be a dry Saturday morning thru Memorial Day afternoon weekend. The exception might be the Upper Peninsula; at some point Memorial Day afternoon could turn into thunderstorms.
With dry weather, there should be at least partly sunny skies to mostly sunny skies.
So that leaves us with some wind. Will it be too windy for boating? Here is a series of wind forecasts at 2 p.m. each day from Saturday through Memorial Day. This is combined with a series of gusty wind forecasts at the same times. Remember: a wind forecast corresponds to a constant wind. The regular wind is mainly responsible for the formation of waves. If the wind is extremely gusty, the waves may be larger than the stable wind forecast indicates.
Saturday will be a day with consistent winds of less than seven miles per hour for much of Michigan. Since the wind will be light, the wind direction will vary a lot from the northeast on the east side of Michigan to the southwest on the west side of Lower Michigan.
As for the gusts, they will be quite weak.
Sunday the wind will take a clearer direction, blowing from the south. Winds are still expected to remain below 10 mph over Lower Michigan, with the exception of extreme west and extreme southwest Lower Michigan.
Wind gusts will pick up again on Sunday afternoon, with many places having wind gusts of 25 mph. Gusts will also blow from the south. An area protected from a southerly wind on a lake may be suitable for boating on a Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, it might start to get a little too windy.
The warm southwest wind will pick up between 12 mph and 15 mph on Memorial Day. Depending on the size of your boat and the lake, it may be too windy for boating on Memorial Day.
Memorial Day gusts show windy conditions with gusts of up to 30 mph.
It’s kind of a catch-22 boating weekend. When the temperatures get warm, the wind increases. Saturday will be a safe day to sail with the light wind. Sunday is a bit marginal for boating. Skies and temperatures will say paddling, and the wind will be doable for some lakes and some boat sizes. Memorial Day may be too windy for many to get out on the water.