• Strong Wind Warning and Squall Warnings in effect for western Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.
• Currently thunderstorms are moving through region with the potential for thundershowers Saturday as well.
• Forecasts calling for gentle to strong winds for the rest of today and tomorrow, with even higher winds associated with thunderstorms.
• Risk of shoreline damage and erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluff areas.
• Flooding and shoreline damage possible in low lying shoreline areas on both Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.
There is currently a Strong Wind Warning and a Squall Warning in effect for both western Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Thunderstorms are moving through the region which have the potential to produce high winds and heavy rains. Winds for the rest of the day and tomorrow are predicted to range from gentle to strong, with the potential for even higher winds associated with thundershowers. Winds are currently from the south or southeast. Forecasts predict that winds will change to a northerly or northwesterly direction this evening or overnight. However, there is some uncertainty as to how this transition may occur. Some forecasts are calling for a quick transition, while others are calling for several hours of easterly winds during the transition. Some of this may depend on where in the region one is looking.
Given the high lake levels, in addition to flooding associated with waves from strong sustained winds, there is a risk of flooding due to thundershowers and associated weather systems that can cause sudden or unexpected changes in wind and wave conditions and heavy rains.
While winds are out of a southerly direction, they will be driving waves onto our Lake Erie shoreline throughout Chatham-Kent and Elgin County. There is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the shoreline, including along the high bluff areas. There is the potential for winds from a southerly direction strong enough to cause flooding along Erie Shore Drive. As winds transition through the east to a northerly direction, there is risk of flooding for the Rondeau Bay communities of Erieau and Shrewsbury. Once winds end up blowing from a northerly direction, or westerly direction, there is a risk of flooding on Lake St. Clair and in the community of Lighthouse Cove.
Residents and workers in shoreline areas should pay attention to local conditions and be prepared. 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 July 12, 2020
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