• Strong southwest winds in the forecast tomorrow, potentially lasting into Monday morning.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and/or flooding all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs
• Significant risk of flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent.
Weather forecasts are calling for a period of strong southwest winds tomorrow, potentially lasting into Monday morning. Down on Lake Erie, winds are currently from the northeast. Overnight tonight winds are predicted to switch to the south and then to the southwest tomorrow morning. There is still some variability in the forecasts as to how quickly the winds will rise and how high they may get. Some forecasts suggest that winds could exceed 25 km/hr from the south sometime overnight. Most forecasts suggest winds will exceed 30 km/hr from the southwest sometime tomorrow morning and will peak sometime in the afternoon. One forecast currently suggests peak sustained wind speeds in the afternoon tomorrow could reach as high as 50 km/hr with gusts over 75 km/hr. There is also some variability in the forecasts as to how long the strong winds might last with some forecasts suggesting that winds over 30 km/hr could last into the overnight period or potentially even into Monday morning. Wave forecasts are predicting waves could reach 1.5 m in height in nearshore areas and 3 m on the open lake tomorrow afternoon. In addition to the rains received over the last day, there is still up to 10 mm of additional rain in the forecasts.
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. Flooding should also be expected in low lying shoreline areas. The area most at risk during this event is Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. If the higher wind forecasts are what actually appear, there could be significant flooding down on Erie Shore Drive. Residents and workers in the area 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 March 31, 2020.
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