• Strong Wind Warning in effect for western Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.
• Forecasts calling for winds between moderate and strong overnight tonight through tomorrow evening.
• 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 communities on both Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.
• Risk of thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and evening
There is currently a Strong Wind Warning in effect for both western Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. The region is currently seeing light or gentle winds from the southwest. The southwest winds are predicted to pick up this evening and could reach 25 km/hr around midnight. Throughout the day tomorrow (Sunday) forecasts suggest winds could be in the 30 to 35 km/hr range, with gust possibly over 50 km/hr. In the evening tomorrow forecasts suggest winds will switch to a more westerly direction, and eventually northwesterly. Wind speeds could still be in this range between moderate and strong when they switch to the west. Forecasts are predicting waves could reach 1 to 1.5 m in height on Lake Erie and 0.5 to 1 m on Lake St. Clair. There is also a risk of thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and evening.
While winds are out of the southwest, 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. Forecasts are calling for winds far enough above the 25 km/hr threshold that have previously caused flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent that some flooding should be expected in the area. Other low-lying areas along the Lake Erie shoreline could also be at risk of flooding.
Once winds switch to the west tomorrow evening, there is a risk of shoreline damage and flooding on Lake St. Clair as well. If winds speeds are still up when the winds switch to the west or northwest, there could be flooding in the community of Lighthouse Cove as well. Lake setup effects could raise water levels in the community causing flooding from the canals and wave spray related flooding could affect properties along the shoreline.
In addition to flooding associated with lake setup and 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. Due to the high lake levels, water is not draining away properly from these shoreline areas, which can lead to greater impacts from thundershowers and prolong flooding.
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 20, 2020.
Message Contact: Jason Wintermute (email@example.com)