• Freezing Spray Warning in effect for Western Lake Erie.
• Strong west or southwest winds predicted this evening into Saturday afternoon.
• Risk of shoreline damage and erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Risk of flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent.
Currently, winds are gentle to moderate across the region and generally from the west. Forecasts are predicting that winds will pick up this afternoon and sustained wind speeds could exceed 35 km/hr by early this evening. Winds are predicted to peak later in the evening or overnight. Depending on the forecast, peak sustained wind speeds are predicted anywhere between 35 and 50 km/hr, with gusts between 60 and 75 km/hr. Strong winds are then predicted to continue into Saturday, with sustained wind speeds above 35 km/hr possibly lasting into Saturday afternoon. There is also some uncertainty as to what direction winds may be coming from, with some forecasts suggesting winds may stay more westerly, and other saying they will become southwest. Snow flurries are predicted during this period and temperatures will remain below freezing. Wave forecasts for Lake Erie are generally calling for waves between 1.5 and 2 m in height during this period.
Due to high lake levels, there is a 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.
There is also a risk of flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. If winds stay out of the west and/or stick to the lower end of the predicted wind speeds, little if any flooding would be expected. However, southwest winds with speeds in the upper end of the forecasted range could cause significant flooding in the area. Residents and workers in the area should still be prepared for some risk of flooding.
Currently, winds are not predicted to be strong enough and from a direction that would cause issues for the Lake St. Clair shoreline in the LTVCA jurisdiction.
The freezing conditions could create further risks. Any flooding that occurs could freeze, creating slippery conditions. Waves crashing against shoreline protections can create spray that would also freeze. Such freezing spray could freeze across the ground, onto trees, over homes and structures, and even onto the roadway if it makes it that far. Such freezing conditions could occur along any low-lying shoreline areas, but Erie Shore Drive is particularly at risk for this.
People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should conditions get rough. The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery, especially with freezing conditions. 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 attempt to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until December 27, 2020.
Message contact: Jason Wintermute (firstname.lastname@example.org)