Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog


a person sitting on a bench

Lake Erie Weather: What is a Seiche?

When many people think of Lake Erie, they think of just that; a lake. While Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes are in fact lakes, they act more like a small inland ocean. Their impact on the climate and weather conditions for the millions of people on the shores is much greater than your typical lake. We are excited to take a dive into the many weather phenomenon involving Lake Erie in our new series, Lake Erie Weather!

Want real time Lake Erie weather information? A great resource that the Jet Express uses when gauging conditions can be found here!

Lake Erie Winds

While the summers here on Lake Erie are especially beautiful and peaceful, the fall and winter months can bring extreme winds and cold to our region. This leads to very rough conditions out on Lake Erie are sometimes impacts our normal ferry service to Put-in-Bay.

a large ship in a body of water

Through all weather conditions, our friendly and experienced crew are there to get you to and from Put-in-Bay and Kelley’s Island safely!

a person sitting at a dock

One of the most spectacular occurances when the winds and waves pick up is called a seiche. According to NOAA, Lake Erie is especially known for it’s massive seiche’s that drain the water out of the lake at one end and usually causes extreme flooding at the other end. “Seiches are typically caused when strong winds and rapid changes in atmospheric pressure push water from one end of a body of water to the other. When the wind stops, the water rebounds to the other side of the enclosed area. The water then continues to oscillate back and forth for hours or even days. In a similar fashion, earthquakes, tsunamis, or severe storm fronts may also cause seiches along ocean shelves and ocean harbors.”

Just recently, the Put-in-Bay and Port Clinton area was hit by a bomb cyclone that caused 60-70 mile per hour winds in our region from the westerly direction. This immediately push all of the water from the western basin of Lake Erie down to the eastern basin near Buffalo, NY. While we had record setting low water levels, Buffalo faced the opposite. Here you can see our docks at Put-in-Bay and in Port Clinton were both dry down to the bottom. We would not have been able to float!

a bridge over a body of water a close up of a building

The Portage River in Port Clinton was also empty. Many fishermen could have probably found all of their lost fishing lures from over the years.

a snow covered field a bridge over a body of water a snow covered field

While Lake Erie has it’s crazy weather and can be quite dangerous at times, through these colder months we like to think about all of the warmth and sunshine ahead! We are excited to see all of our family and friends back onboard with us this summer. Our 2023 schedule and tickets will be online and for sale soon, so stay tuned! Until next time, stay warm! Like this content? Make sure to check out some of our other blog posts here!

a boat is docked next to a body of water

  • Posted in: