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There are people who like to test the waters first before they take a dip. A good dip of a toe gives them an idea if it would be better to slowly introduce themselves into the water, or majestically dive (or flop) given the water is deep enough.

There are a lot more reasons why it’s important to understand the temperatures of lakes, especially when you’re going to take part in some kind of water activity. Temperatures influence where flora and fauna form and frolic, it’s a measure of what you should bring with you, if you need to bring your best bikini or your coolest wetsuit, or if you need to know where the ice is thickest.

Lake Michigan is a large body of water, the second largest freshwater lake by volume among the Great Lakes. Large bodies of water can gather large amounts of energy, which can greatly affect the weather above it, as well as the temperatures of both the water and the wind. It could be a nice breezy afternoon in Chicago, but the center of Lake Michigan could very well be an oven.


Lake Michigan Temperatures During Summer

Summer is when the water seems most attractive. The hot air coupled with the cooling water makes for excellent swimming opportunities, great fishing as some of the lake’s sport fish climb up to the warmer waters, and the weather is perfect for simply enjoying the sun and perhaps getting a good tan.

Recent lake temperatures reported that Lake Michigan’s waters have an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) with the temperatures cooler closer to the center of the lake. Temperatures close to the shore have been measured higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius and higher).

It’s worth noting that the ideal lake temperature for swimming is around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit (25-27 degrees Celsius), especially for children. For those who want to slim down by swimming, ideal temperatures should be cooler at around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit (23-25 degrees Celsius).

Planning a trip to the lake during summer? Grab our Michigan Love Womens’ Flowy Tank to stay comfortable while enjoying the sun.


Lake Michigan Temperatures During Winter

Lake temperatures during winter can influence where the ice forms. Thin ice is one of the greater hazards of the lake, some of which is hard to identify especially for first-timers.

As of recent, the average temperatures in Lake Michigan during the winter season are 36-39 degrees Fahrenheit (3-4 degrees Celsius). The temperature around the shores are lower and it gets slightly warmer as you go to the center of the lake. The shore temperature could go on the lower 30s (or sub-zero temperatures) and the center of the lake would be around 39 to 40, often climbing higher if it’s particularly sunny for a winter day.

Only the bravest would dare swim in the lake during these cold temperatures, but it hasn’t stopped people from doing so. Swimming during the winter is illegal in Lake Michigan, unless it’s from one of the open beaches, with a lifeguard on duty, or scuba diving off a boat. Refer to the local authorities to find out the exact laws in the area before you take that icy dive.

If you’re making your way to Lake Michigan during the winter, bring along one of our hoodie like the Fresh Coast ¼ Zip Women’s Performance Pullover.