A little background before my BIG surf question:
I’m currently reading the book, “The Perfect Storm” which goes into some great factual detail about the mechanics of weather systems, wave motion, etc.
There is a mention in the book that the largest wave that can be generated, theoretically, by high winds in open water would max at about 175 ft.
There is another mention in the book that the Queen Mary was once hit by a rogue wave out at sea which knocked out the ship’s pilot window 90 ft up.
I visited a surfing site which tells of the record waves ridden by riders in '98 off the Waimea bay in Hawaii. The waves were maxing at about 80 ft near the shore. These waves were generated by an approaching storm and were racing a full day ahead of the storm. At sea, these swells were forming at about 20 ft.
My questions are…
Why don’t the great lakes coastlines experience more severe wave heights considering lake storm swells can easily reach 20 - 30 ft in height? When I notice that the lake conditions are showing 6-8 ft waves, the shoreline usually just looks like a washing machine with lots of churning.
I realize that the slope of the lake bottom is fairly shallow, but I recall reading that lake michigan reaches a maximum depth of about 750 ft only 12 miles off the coast of Ludington, Mi. Shouldn’t a storm system from the west be generating some Huge waves on the Michigan shoreline there?