I’ve been recently asked if strong winds ever whip up giant waves on Lake Baikal and where on the lake would large waves be most likely to form.
As in any lake, waves in Lake Baikal arise from the effects of wind on water, on the difference of atmospheric pressure on different parts of the valley, from earthquakes, from the tides, from undersea volcanic eruptions, from the vessels motion and other external forces.
Waves on Lake Baikal may reach a height of 4 meters. Sometimes they evaluated as 5 and even 6 meters, but it is most likely an estimation “by eye”, which has a large error. Height of 4 meters obtained by instrumental measurements on the high seas. The waves are usually strong in autumn and spring, and even in winter before lake freezes. In the summer on Lake Baikal strong waves and storms are rare.
- north-western wind – Gorny (Mountain wind);
- Barguzin, or north-eastern;
- then Verkhovik (in the northern part of the lake it’s also so-called Angara);
- Kultuk, or south-western;
- Shelonnik, or south-eastern wind;
- and Sarma, north-west wind in the area, opposite the mouth of the Sarma river.