Wind Waves on the Great Lakes: A 32 Year Hindcast


  • Jon M. Hubertz
  • David B. Driver
  • Robin D. Reinhard


Great Lakes, waves, hindcast, wave information study, wave spectra


Information on winds and waves near the coast is critical to scientists and engineers working on a variety of problems on the Great Lakes. These include design of coastal structures, estimation of erosion rates, and aspects of navigational and recreational safety. Very few measurements of winds and waves are available along the coastlines of the lakes and none are of long duration. The Wave Information Study (WIS) at the Coastal Engineering Research Center (CERC) has addressed this lack of information by completlng a 32-year hindcast of wind and wave conditions at locations 10 miles apart along the shorelines of the Great Lakes. Results are summarized in reports for each lake. Wind speed and direction are available every 3 hours for the 32·year period from 1956-1987 over a 10 mile grid on each lake. Directional wave spectra also are available each 3 hours for the 32 years at each location near shore and other selected points over the lakes. The procedures used to produce this information are discussed and examples of verification against measurements are shown.