Lake Erie Wave Report and Weather

Lake Erie walleye charter

Lake Erie wave reports and weather play a major role in fishing and boating on the lake. This article will help you be more prepared.  Knowing where to find a Lake Erie wave report will help you be prepared.  Tracking wind and storms while boating on Lake Erie is critical.  Knowing when wind/storms are moving through the area is smart.  Even if you are fishing from shore, wind can be a factor in safety and the quality of your experience. Remember only you can decide if Lake Erie is safe enough for you to venture out on.  This article is only a guide.

Lake Erie Wave Report

When the winds kick up over Lake Erie, the waves can get crazy big. Here’s what to expect based on the wave forecast:


Wave Height: 1-3 Feet

    • Pretty typical for a nice summer day
    • Maybe a little choppy, but no big deal

Wave Height: 3-6 Feet

    • Now we’re talking some serious waves
    • Start being cautious if you’ll be out on the water

Wave Height: 6-10 Feet

    • These are gigantic waves, taller than most people
    • Only experienced boaters/swimmers should be out

Wave Height: Over 10 Feet

    • Extreme conditions! Stay off the lake.
    • Waves can reach heights of 20+ feet in bad storms
Wind Speed Wave Height
15-25 mph 3-6 feet
25-35 mph 6-10 feet
35+ mph 10+ feet

The shallow Western Basin tends to have smaller waves compared to the deeper eastern end. But even a 3-foot wave can easily swamp a small boat. Pay attention to wave reports and know your limits out there!

Check all the weather links below before boating on Lake Erie.  This can give you a good idea on the Lake Erie wave report. This is not all-inclusive but a good start.


Iwindsurf – Easy to use wind app.  Gives a good guess at wave report height.


Sailflow – Great for checking current and future wind on Lake Erie.  Knowing the wind direction is key to guessing the wave report.


NOAA Lake Erie – Weather forecast for Lake Erie.  NOAA gives a Lake Erie wave report for near and offshore.  Be sure you are looking at the correct one before you go.

These websites/apps will give you the most accurate real-time and forecast data.  Type in your specific location or use the map to navigate to the area you would like to boat in.  For the most accurate forecast look 3 days out.  When looking at the wind you need to look at the direction, speed, and time.  If you are fishing from the South shore of Lake Erie a South wind will be in your favor and a North wind will be not so pleasant.  It will be just the opposite if you are fishing from the North Shore.  This goes for any wind that is facing the shore you left from.  A headwind any greater than 10 mph will be a rough ride.  These weather forecasts will give you an hour-by-hour look at the wind.  The night before a trip check the hour-by-hour forecast.  You will be able to plan before the wind shifts.   Lastly, knowing when the wind is going to shift could save your life, property, or wallet.

Real-Time Lake Erie Wave Report

The National Data Buoy Center has real-time Lake Erie wave report height, wind direction, and speed at different buoy locations across Lake Erie.  This is a good tool to give you an idea of what to expect.  The wave height given on the buoy page needs analyzed.  Whatever wave height is displayed, take that number x2.  If the buoy is reading 2.6 ft., expect to see 5-footers near the buoy.  In a South wind obviously the closer you are to shore the smaller the waves.  Below are a couple of links to the buoys that I look at before I head out.




Buoy 45005 16 NM NW of Lorain, OH



Buoy 45176 Cleveland Crib Buoy

Tracking Lake Erie Weather

Storms on Lake Erie can come fast and strong. A strong storm that moves across the lake fast can produce heavy sustained wind and large waves quickly.  Knowing the chance of storms before you head out boating will better prepare you for them.

lake erie storm

Weather apps can be used for storm tracking.  Use the hourly forecast and map in the app, mostly looking for pop-up storms or storms that contain lightning. Weather apps are the most accurate to about 3 days out.  Use that as a guide to plan your fishing trip.  Below are the weather apps we use.



Weather Channel


Weather Underground


Below are references to other informational pages on Lake Erie Fish that will help you have a great day on the water!


Cold Water Safety on Lake Erie


Lake Erie Ice Fishing


Latest Lake Erie Fishing Report