• Special Weather Statement and a Gale Warning have been issued by Environment Canada.
• Strong winds in the forecast from Friday evening through Monday. Gale force winds possible late Saturday morning into the overnight.
• Risk of shoreline damage and erosion all along the shorelines of Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and Rondeau Bay,
• High risk of significant flooding along Erie Shore Drive during this period.
• Risk of flooding and damages in the Lighthouse Cove area and along the Lake St. Clair shoreline in Chatham-Kent, late Saturday afternoon into the evening.
• Heavy rains also forecast, possibly as much as 45 mm, from Friday evening through Saturday.
There is currently a Special Weather Statement and a Gale Warning in effect from Environment Canada. Down on the Lake Erie shoreline, southeast winds predicted for Friday evening could reach sustained wind speeds above 35 km/hr. Overnight winds are predicted to switch becoming southwest by the morning. Some forecasts suggest a period of even stronger winds, possibly up to around 50 km/hr during the overnight. Strong winds are predicted to continue through Saturday with gale force winds possible from late Saturday morning into the overnight, although the gale force winds are most likely only on Saturday afternoon. Various forecasts for Saturday afternoon have peak sustained wind speeds possibly as high as 65 km/hr. The Special Weather Statement is calling for gusts of 70 to 90 km/hr. The Marine Forecast suggests winds up to 75 km/hr over the open waters of Lake Erie. Late in the afternoon or early evening Saturday, winds are predicted to switch more westerly. Winds are then predicted to begin dropping off, but could remain strong into the overnight period. After a little break in the winds overnight, forecasts are predicting another period of strong southwest winds between 35 and 45 km/hr from Sunday evening through Monday morning. Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing during this period. The Special Weather Statement is also calling for heavy rains with local rainfall totals of 25 to 45 mm of rain, from Friday evening through Saturday. Wave forecasts suggest wave heights over 2 m for Lake Erie and around 1 m for Lake St. Clair on Saturday afternoon.
Due to high lake levels, there is a risk that wave action during this event could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the Great Lakes shorelines. This includes the high bluff areas along the Lake Erie Shoreline for most of this event, and at times the Rondeau Bay shoreline and the shoreline in eastern Lake St. Clair.
While winds are out of the southeast, mostly Friday evening into the overnight, east facing shoreline areas along Lake Erie will see a greater than usual risk of shoreline damage and erosion and the possibility of some flooding in low-lying shoreline areas, for example around Rose Beach Line and around Wheatley.
There is a strong risk of significant flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent for much of this event. Erie Shore Drive is impacted by wind events from the southeast through southwest and strong winds from this direction are predicted from Friday evening through into Saturday evening and then again Sunday evening through Monday morning. Predicted wind speeds during this period are easily in the range to cause flooding in the area, and the gale force winds predicted for Saturday afternoon would cause significant flooding. Residents in the area should pay close attention to local conditions and be prepared.
The very strong or gale force wind predicted for the afternoon and early evening on Saturday could potentially cause shoreline damage along the north and east shorelines of Rondeau Bay.
There is also a risk of flooding and shoreline damages along the Lake St. Clair shoreline, late in the afternoon or evening on Saturday. When the winds shift to the west they could still be near gale force along the Lake St. Clair shoreline. The potentially impacted areas in the LTVCA would be the community of Lighthouse Cove and the eastern shoreline of the lakes in Chatham-Kent.
There are also heavy rains in the forecast that could cause ponding and localized flooding in low-lying shoreline areas. Due to the high lake levels, the groundwater table is high and storm water sewer systems and local watercourses are full with lake water. As a result, rainwater is not draining properly from these areas. Any water from upstream making its way downstream on local watercourses into these shoreline areas could cause additional flooding.
People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should conditions get rough. The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery. There could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water which could be thrown onto the shore. Standing water can also present unseen hazards. Children and animals should be kept away from the water.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until the morning of December 14, 2021.
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