• Gale Warning has been issued for western Lake Erie.
• Flooding risks around the Rondeau Bay area, including Shrewsbury and on the bay side of Erieau, Thursday into Friday morning.
• Flooding risks around the community of Lighthouse Cove, overnight Thursday into Friday morning.
• Risk of erosion and shoreline damage for east facing shorelines such as around Rose Beach Line and around Wheatley.
A Gale Warning for western Lake Erie has been issued by Environment Canada due to strong winds in the forecast. Winds across the region are currently gentle and generally from the east. Winds are predicted to switch more northeast overnight and pick up in speed becoming strong tomorrow (Thursday) morning. There is some variability in the forecasts, and peak wind speeds are predicted to range between 40 and 65 km/hr tomorrow afternoon. Some forecasts are suggesting that winds could switch more to the north Thursday evening or overnight into Friday morning, before switching back to the northeast later Friday morning. The strong winds are predicted to continue into Friday morning before dropping off. Some light rain is predicted during the day Thursday. Waves forecasts for Lake Erie suggest waves could peak Thursday afternoon in the 1.5 to 2 m height range in nearshore areas and in the 2 to 3 m range offshore, while waves on Lake St. Clair could approach 1 m in height.
Northeast winds predicted for Thursday through into Friday morning could produce flooding in the southwest corner of Rondeau Bay and impact the communities of Shrewsbury and the bay side of Erieau. At the lower end of the predicted wind speeds, very limited flooding would be expected in these communities, whereas if the gale force winds appear more widespread flooding should be expected. Erie Shore Drive which typically floods during high wind events should not see significant flooding as it is sheltered from winds of this direction.
There is also some risk of flooding in Lighthouse Cove late Thursday evening into Friday morning. If winds stay out of the northeast, flooding would not be expected in the community. However, some forecasts suggest that the winds will turn more northerly, which would allow waves to build up across the lake and impact the community.
The northeast winds will be offshore or along shore for most of the Lake Erie shoreline and this means there is generally a lower risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause shoreline erosion than might be expected for such a wind event. However, east facing shorelines, such as the areas around Rose Beach Line and Wheatley, are more vulnerable to such winds.
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.
This message will be in effect until March 20, 2021.
Message contact: Jason Wintermute (email@example.com)