• Moderate east winds this evening becoming strong northeast winds on Sunday.
• Risk of shoreline damage and erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Some risk of flooding in low-lying shoreline areas, including along Erie Shore Drive this evening or overnight if winds stay southeast
• Risk that floodwaters could freeze causing icy conditions.
Currently, winds are gentle across the region and from the southeast. Forecasts are predicting that winds will switch more easterly and rise this evening. Down on Lake Erie, sustained wind speeds could reach 30 km/hr late this evening or overnight. Winds are predicted to switch to the northeast Sunday morning and to peak in the afternoon. Most forecasts are predicting peak sustained wind speeds of around 45 km/hr with gusts over 60 km/hr. Winds are predicted to stay strong from the northeast into Monday morning before dropping down to moderate. Temperatures are predicted to remain below freezing during this period. Ice is just starting to develop along the Lake Erie shoreline. Wave forecasts for Lake Erie are generally calling for waves of 0.5 to 1 m in height overnight, building to 1.5 to 2 m on Sunday.
Any newly formed ice along the Lake Erie shoreline is unlikely to be able to stand up to the waves predicted during this event. The ice in Rondeau Bay is more developed, but it could be weakened by a water level rise predicted due to lake setup.
Due to high lake levels and open waters on the lake, there is still 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. More easterly facing shoreline areas such as around Wheatley and the Rose Beach Line areas in Chatham-Kent will see more direct wave action during this wind event.
During the early part of this event when winds are still from the southeast, there will be some risk of low-level flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. Whether there will be any flooding at all depends on how high the winds get before switching more easterly, when the area will become sheltered by Rondeau. Currently, forecasts are not predicting winds to get high enough to cause any serious flooding along Erie Shore Drive before switching more easterly. Other low-lying shoreline areas along Lake Erie will also have some risk of low-level flooding. Freezing temperatures predicted during this event could lead to icy, slippery and hazardous conditions.
Currently, winds are not predicted to be from a direction that would cause issues for the Lake St. Clair shoreline 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, especially in freezing 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 February 2, 2021.
Message Contact: Jason Wintermute ([email protected])