• Gale Warning and Freezing Spray Warning in effect for Western Lake Erie
• Forecasts calling for strong southerly winds this evening into Thursday.
• Risk of flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent, from this evening into Thursday.
• Risk of shoreline damage and erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Risk of freezing wave spray from late Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.
There is currently a Gale Warning and a Freezing Spray Warning in effect from Environment Canada’s Marine Forecast. Winds are currently moderate across the region and from the south. Forecasts are calling for winds to rise and peak Wednesday afternoon. For areas along the Lake Erie shoreline, sustained wind speeds are predicted to reach 35 km/hr this evening or early overnight. Winds are predicted to continue rising throughout the overnight and Wednesday morning, and to switch more southwest. Winds are predicted to peak Wednesday afternoon or early evening with sustained wind speeds somewhere between 45 and 55 km/hr, and with gusts exceeding 70 km/hr. The marine forecast suggests sustained winds approaching 75 km/hr could be seen on the open waters of Lake Erie. Some forecasts suggest that the southwest winds could switch more westerly late Wednesday afternoon. Winds are then predicted to slowly drop off but not fall back below 35 km/hr until sometime on Thursday. Wave forecasts for Lake Erie are calling for waves around 1.5 to 2 m in nearshore areas and 2 to 3 m on the open lake. Temperatures are predicted drop back below freezing late Wednesday afternoon.
There is a risk of flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent, starting this evening and lasting into Thursday. Should the predicted peak wind speeds of 45 to 55 km/hr be reached, there could be significant flooding in the area, especially considering how long the strong winds are predicted to last. Flood waters are very likely to get onto the roadway. The possibility of freezing wave spray, starting later on Wednesday, could create even more dangerous conditions if there is water on the roadway and structures along the shoreline get iced over. Residents in the area should pay close attention to local conditions and be prepared. There could also be impacts to other low-lying shoreline areas that have seen flooding over the last few years.
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. The risk of freezing wave spray starting late Wednesday afternoon also exists along the entire Lake Erie shoreline.
Currently, winds are not predicted to be from a direction to cause issues along Lake St. Clair in the LTVCA jurisdiction.
People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should conditions get rough. The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery. Freezing wave spray can lead to icy, dangerous 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 continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until January 7, 2022.
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