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High winds today could produce waves as high as six feet on Lake Ontario and five feet on Lake Erie, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a small craft advisory for area boaters.

Inexperienced boaters, especially those operating vessels under 18 feet, are being advised to avoid going out on the water.

Wind speeds of up to 25 mph throughout this afternoon will produce average wave heights of four feet on Lake Erie near the shoreline from Ripley to the Buffalo area.

The advisory is in effect until 2 a.m. Friday for Lake Erie and until 5 p.m. Friday for Lake Ontario, said National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Reynolds. Waves of three to five feet are expected for Lake Erie and four to six feet for Lake Ontario.

“You’ve just got to be careful,” Reynolds said. “If you have a boat that can’t handle that, then don’t have that boat out there.”

The winds are not expected to cause any problems inland.

Lake Ontario east of Hamlin Beach all the way to the St. Lawrence River likely will be even choppier.

“The bigger waves are going to be on the eastern end of Ontario,” Reynolds said.

Wave heights there could reach seven feet.

email: jtokasz@buffnews.com