My first downtown walk on a Saturday afternoon started out OK but I soon saw the signs of fog creeping in off Lake Michigan as the tops of the buildings began to be enveloped in the area where the Michigan Avenue bridge crosses the Chicago River. I guess this is to be expected from living next door to the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume of water and with dimensions of 307 miles long and 118 miles wide. With a maximum depth of 925 feet, there is a lot of cold water out there not too far away from the shallower areas near shore, resulting in a water surface temperature of about 4-5 degrees C in Spring. The fog results when warm and humid air systems from the west or the Gulf of Mexico happen to pass over the cooler water which causes their moisture to condense into visible fog.
It poses hazards for boaters and aircraft, but really didn't cause me any problems. I had managed to see enough of the city for that day, taking into account my early flight departure from Regina, and resumed my explorations the next day when I was a bit fresher! I was lucky enough to get sunshine for the entire remainder of the week!
Apparently, there is something unique about the Lake Michigan beaches. When there is a chance for thunderstorms, for some reason it creates very powerful currents that can sweep a swimmer well out to sea in a matter of seconds. It sounds odd, but this happened seven times over one holiday weekend, including excellent swimmers in good physical shape.
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