• Gale Warning for western Lake Erie and a Special Weather Statement for the region have been issued.
• Some risk of flooding in the Rondeau Bay area, including Shrewsbury and the bay side of Erieau overnight tonight.
• Flooding along Erie Shore Drive overnight and Friday morning.
• Some risk of flooding in Lighthouse Cove, late Friday morning into the afternoon.
• Heavy rains could add to the flooding in poorly drained shoreline areas and communities.
• Risk of erosion and shoreline damage all along the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair shorelines.
A Gale Warning for western Lake Erie and a Special Weather Statement have been issued by Environment Canada due to high winds and rain in the forecast. Winds across the region are currently light to moderate and generally from the south. A weather system is predicted to move into the region this evening bringing rain and high winds. Forecasts suggest winds will switch to the east or northeast and climb this evening. Overnight, winds are predicted to switch to the south or southwest and most forecasts suggest sustained wind speeds will have climbed over 35 km/hr during the overnight period. Winds are predicted to peak Friday morning somewhere in the 45 to 65 km/hr range, with wind gusts in the 70 to 90 km/hr range, depending on the forecast and location. Forecasts for Friday morning suggest winds will switch to the west or even the northwest and then drop off in the afternoon. Total rainfall for this event is predicted to be around 25 mm for most of the region, although the Special Weather Statement suggests thunderstorms could produce higher amounts, perhaps up to 50 mm, in some areas. Some waves forecasts for Lake Erie suggest waves could peak Friday morning in the 2 to 3 m height range, while Lake St. Clair could see 0.5 to 1 m wave heights.
Northeast or east winds predicted overnight could produce flooding in the southwest corner of Rondeau Bay and impact the communities of Shrewsbury and the bay side of Erieau. Whether this happens, depends on how high wind speeds climb before switching to the south.
Once winds switch more southerly overnight, flooding should be expected along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. Even the lower end of the predicted wind speeds has caused significant flooding along the road in the past. People in the area should be prepared for flooded properties and water flowing across the roadway. Once winds shift to the west sometime Friday morning, the flooding should end. Other low lying, south facing shoreline areas would also be vulnerable to flooding at this time.
There is also some risk of flooding in Lighthouse Cove Friday morning and into the afternoon. While forecasts suggest winds will drop off once they switch to the west or northwest, wind speeds could still be high enough to cause flooding when they first switch to that direction.
There is also a risk of erosion and shoreline damage along the entire length of the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair shorelines in the LTVCA at some point during this event. East and south winds will be pushing waves onshore for the entire length of the Lake Erie shoreline. Once winds switch to the west Friday morning, they will be largely offshore for Lake Erie, but will then be able to impact the Lake St. Clair shoreline in our area.
Heavy rains could also cause 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 these 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 shoreline. Standing water can also present unseen hazards. Children and pets should be kept away from the water.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.
Message contact: Jason Wintermute (firstname.lastname@example.org)