• Strong Wind Warning in effect for western Lake Erie
• Possibility of southerly winds between 25 and 35 km/hr, from late this evening into tomorrow afternoon, followed by another period late Thursday morning into Thursday evening.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and/or flooding all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Risk of flooding in Lake Erie communities such as Erie Shore Drive.
• Risk of thunderstorms this evening into tomorrow morning.
There is a Strong Wind Warning in effect for western Lake Erie. Currently, winds across the region are gentle and from the south. Forecasts predict that winds will pick up this evening and could reach sustained wind speeds of 25 km/hr before midnight. Sustained wind speeds between 25 and 35 km/hr from the south or southwest are predicted to last into tomorrow afternoon. After a period of lower wind speeds tomorrow evening and overnight, wind speeds are predicted to rise again and another period with sustained wind speeds from the southwest between 25 and 35 km/hr is predicted from late Thursday morning into Thursday evening. Later on Thursday evening winds are predicted to switch to the northwest. Wave forecasts for Lake Erie are calling for waves of around 1 m in height overnight and tomorrow. Forecasts also suggest there is a risk of thunderstorms this evening into tomorrow morning.
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. Given the predicted southerly or southwesterly wind direction, with possible sustained wind speeds between 25 and 35 km/hr, flooding is possible along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. Other south-facing shoreline communities along Lake Erie would also be at some risk.
Currently, forecasts are mixed as to whether wind speeds will drop before switching to the northwest Thursday evening. If on Thursday forecast predict that those northwest winds will be strong enough to impact Lake St. Clair, an updated flood message will be issued at that time.
Heavy rains associated with thunderstorm activity could also cause flooding in low lying shoreline areas on either Lake St. Clair or Lake Erie. Due to the high lake levels, the groundwater table is high and storm water sewer systems and local watercourses are full with lake water. As a result, rainwater is not draining properly from these areas. This also makes these areas more vulnerable to flooding from nearby watercourses.
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 September 4, 2020.
Message Contact: Jason Wintermute (firstname.lastname@example.org)