• Gale Warning is in effect for Lake Erie due to very strong winds in the forecast tomorrow.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and/or flooding all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Flooding could begin along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent as early as this evening and last through Tuesday.
• Very strong to gale force winds in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon could cause significant flooding along Erie Shore Drive and an increased risk to other areas of the shoreline as well.
• On Lake St. Clair, there is a risk of significant flooding in Lighthouse Cove and a risk of shoreline damage and erosion on the east side of the lake Monday afternoon through the overnight.
Environment Canada has a Gale Warning in effect for Lake Erie due to very strong winds in the forecast tomorrow. Down on the lake, winds are currently gentle from the southeast. Forecasts suggest that this evening winds will rise above 25 km/hr. Overnight, winds are predicted to switch to the south, then to the southwest tomorrow morning, and then more westerly in the afternoon. Wind speeds are predicted to rise in the morning and peak in the afternoon. Various forecasts are calling for wind speeds in the afternoon between 50 and 60 km/hr with gusts between 75 and 90 km/hr. Winds are predicted to remain strong overnight and not fall back beneath 25 km/hr until late Tuesday. Wave forecasts suggest waves could reach 3 to 4 m in height on the open waters of Lake Erie, possibly over 1.5 m in nearshore areas. On Lake St. Clair, waves are predicted to reach 1 m in height. In addition to the wind and waves, weather forecasts are calling for 15 to 25 mm of rain from this evening through to 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. Flooding should also be expected in low lying shoreline areas. Along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent flooding has been observed with wind speeds around 25 km/hr should the winds come from the right direction for a long enough period of time. This means that flooding in the area could begin as early as this evening. If the gale speed winds predicted for Monday actually appear, there would be significant flooding along Erie Shore Drive and an increased risk of shoreline damage for other areas. Residents and workers in the area should pay attention to local conditions and be prepared.
During most of this event, shoreline areas of Lake St. Clair, in the LTVCA, should be largely sheltered as winds are from the south. However, some forecasts are suggesting that tomorrow afternoon, when winds are predicted to be out of the west, that winds could switch to the west-northwest. Due to this, there is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion, all along the Lake St. Clair shoreline around Lighthouse Cove and in Chatham-Kent on the east side of the lake. Given the very high wind speeds in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon, if this occurs, it could also lead to significant flooding in Lighthouse Cove, especially along Island Crescent. Residents should pay attention to local conditions and be prepared.
The rain in the forecast could also lead to localized flooding or aggravate any shoreline flooding caused by the winds and waves. Due to the high lake levels, the groundwater table is high and storm water systems and local watercourses are filled with lake water. As a result, rainwater is not draining properly from these areas. Any water from upstream making its way downstream on these watercourses into these shoreline areas could cause additional flooding.
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 April 15, 2020.
Message Contact: Jason Wintermute ([email protected])