Environment Canada’s Marine Forecast currently has a Freezing Spray Warning in effect for western Lake Erie beginning this morning and ending tomorrow evening. Currently, weather forecasts are calling for strong southwest winds this morning through tomorrow morning with sustained winds between 35 and 45 km/hr. Winds are expected to peak early this afternoon with sustained winds of around 45 km/hr and gusts of around 65 km/hr. The Marine Forecast suggests sustained winds could reach 55 km/hr and is predicting wave heights of around two metres during this time. The Canadian Ice Service predicts that there is approximately 7/10 of an inch of ice cover along the shoreline of Lake Erie in the Lower Thames jurisdiction.
Earlier this year, flooding has occurred along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent when the area experiences sustained winds above 35 km/hr from a southerly direction (southeast through southwest). The forecasted wind speeds and wind direction today through tomorrow morning are predicted to be high enough to create the conditions for flooding in this area. However, it is unclear at this time whether there is enough ice along the shoreline to prevent such flooding. If flooding does occur, there is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause shoreline erosion in vulnerable areas. As temperatures are expected to remain well below freezing during this period, there is a risk of icy conditions both on private property as well as on the roadway. Residents in vulnerable areas along the Lake Erie shoreline should pay attention to local conditions.
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 shoreline. Standing water and ice can also present their own unseen hazards. Children, pets and livestock 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 January 4th, 2018.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (519-354-7310, email@example.com) regarding this message.