• Gale Warnings in effect for Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Special Weather Statement issued for strong winds.
• Strong wind forecasts that suggest shoreline issue from this evening into Monday.
• Forecasts calling for peak winds down on Lake Erie tomorrow of 60 to 70 km/hr with gusts of 80 to 100 km/hr.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and/or flooding all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Flooding expected along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent, possibly starting this evening and lasting into tomorrow evening.
• Risk of flooding and shoreline damage along the Lakes St. Clair shoreline and in Lighthouse Cove, late tomorrow afternoon though the overnight if the winds switch due west.
• Total rainfall of 10 to 20 mm predicted for overnight and tomorrow, could add to shoreline issues.
There is a Gale Warning in effect for both Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Environment Canada has also issued a Special Weather Statement due to the forecast for strong winds.
Winds are currently light across the region. However, a weather system is expected to move through the region bringing very strong winds and some rain. Forecasts predict that winds will rise throughout the day and that sustained wind speeds down on Lake Erie could exceed 35 km/hr from the south or southeast this evening. Winds are predicted to continue to rise overnight and some forecast predict that by morning sustained wind speeds could reach around 60 km/hr from the south. Winds are predicted to switch to the southwest throughout the day tomorrow and remain very strong. Forecasts are predicting that winds will peak sometime during the afternoon with sustained wind speeds between 60 and 70 km/hr and gusts between 80 and 100 km/hr, depending on the forecast. Sunday evening winds are predicted to switch more westerly and begin to drop. By Monday morning sustained wind speeds are predicted to be back down in the 35 to 40 km/hr range from the west. Throughout the day Monday winds are predicted to remain in the 30 to 40 km/hr range before dropping off further in the evening. Wave forecasts are predicting waves on the open waters of Lake Erie of 2 to 3 m Sunday morning and 3 to 5 m Sunday afternoon. Even in nearshore areas, wave forecasts predict waves could reach 2.5 m. Wave forecasts for Lake St. Clair are predicting waves on the open water could reach 2 m in height near noon Sunday. In nearshore areas, wave forecasts are predicting waves in the 0.5 to 1 m range depending on the final wind direction. Weather forecasts are generally calling for 10 to 20 mm of rain overnight and tomorrow.
Due to high lake levels, together with the strong winds and large waves predicted, there is a strong risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline in Chatham-Kent and Elgin County, including along the high bluff areas. Given the predicted winds and waves, significant flooding should be expected along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. There is also a risk of flooding in other south-facing shoreline communities along Lake Erie. This risk to the Lake Erie shoreline will last from late this evening until sometime late tomorrow afternoon or evening when winds are predicted to switch more westerly.
The risks to the Lake St. Clair shoreline in the LTVCA are not yet clear. When winds are predicted to switch to the west tomorrow evening, wind speeds will still be strong enough to cause issues for the Lake St. Clair shoreline. While forecasts predict winds will generally switch to the west, there is still some uncertainty whether that will be more west-southwest, west or even west-northwest. Several forecasts suggest that wind will remain from the west-southwest which will still be largely offshore for the LTVCA’s stretch of Lake St. Clair shoreline. However, other forecasts suggest winds could be directly out of the west. Those along the Lake St. Clair shoreline should prepare for the possibility of some shoreline flooding and damages. In Lighthouse Cove, lake surge is not predicted to be strong enough to produce flooding from the canals. However, shoreline area could be impacted by wave spray flooding.
The rain in the forecast could add to the issues 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 when 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 November 17, 2020.
Message Contact: Jason Wintermute (email@example.com)