• Strong Wind Warning in effect for western Lake Erie
• Southwest winds in the forecast, possibly strong at times, this evening through Wednesday afternoon.
• 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 Lake Erie shoreline communities such as Erie Shore Drive
• Risk of thunderstorms Wednesday.
There is currently a Strong Wind Warning in effect for western Lake Erie from Environment Canada. The region is currently seeing southwest winds of varying speeds. There is some uncertainty in the forecasts when looking at various sources. Forecasts are generally calling for southwest winds for the rest of the evening through Wednesday afternoon. Based on some forecasts there is the possibility of winds between 20 and 30 km/hr for the rest of this evening and overnight. Some forecasts are also suggesting a period of moderate to strong winds Wednesday during the day, possibly reaching up around 35 km/hr. Winds are then predicted to drop off Wednesday evening or overnight into Thursday. Wave forecasts suggest the potential of 1.0 to 1.5 m waves on Lake Erie. There is also a risk of thunderstorms Wednesday.
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. The range of wind speeds in the forecasts suggests that winds could climb above the 25 km/hr threshold that have previously caused flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. Other low-lying areas along the Lake Erie shoreline could also be at risk of flooding from higher wind speeds.
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 30, 2020
Message Contact: Jason Wintermute (firstname.lastname@example.org)