What's the Water Temperature at Lake Michigan in Chicago? Here's How to Check

Memorial Day weekend kicked off 2022 Chicago beach season, with 22 Chicago beaches now open.

Swimming is allowed daily from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., as long as swim conditions allow and lifeguards are on duty.

According to the Chicago Park District, Chicago beaches abide by a flag warning system to determine whether its safe to swim at each beach:

  • Green Flag: A green flag means that there are no swimming restrictions, swimming is permitted.
  • Yellow Flag: A yellow flag means that a swim advisory is in place:  swimming is allowed but caution is advised.  
  • Red Flag: A red flag means that a swim ban is in place, swimming is not allowed, as conditions do not meet safe swimming standards.

Swim bans and advisories may be implemented based on weather conditions such as lightning or high winds, surf conditions such as high waves, or water quality conditions, the Chicago Park District says.

Here's where to check the status of each beach or call (312) 74-BEACH.

What's The Current Water Temperature at Lake Michigan?

Here's how to check the current water temperature and conditions at Lake Michigan.

According to the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, cold-water immersion can create a condition called “immersion hypothermia,” which can conduct heat away from the body up to 25 times faster than air.

Hypothermia can occur at some level in any water that is below 70 degrees, according to NIOSH.

While it may be hot outside, according to the National Weather Service, “even strong swimmers can lose muscle control in about 10 minutes” in water in the 50s, with officials recommending that boaters, kayakers and swimmers wear life vests if they are planning on going out on the water because of the chilly conditions.

Chicago beaches will remain open until Labor Day weekend.

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