Forecast strong winds with gusts exceeding 70 km/hr may result in flooding and erosion problems along the Lake Huron shoreline.
A large low-pressure system will move across Lake Huron tomorrow (Wednesday, December 18, 2019), bringing with it high winds. Strong northwest winds are expected to begin early tomorrow morning and persist through the day, before diminishing tomorrow evening. Maximum sustained wind speeds of over 50 km/hr, with gusts exceeding 70 km/hr are possible with this event.
The strong winds, combined with near record-high water levels on Lake Huron, will result in higher than normal waves hitting shoreline areas. Winds speeds are forecasted to be below those observed during the strongest storms earlier this fall; however, the duration of this event could approach 24 hours. Waves are expected to build through the early morning on Wednesday before subsiding overnight into Thursday.
Freezing spray is expected to create dangerous walking conditions along the shoreline. Freezing spray may also accumulate on low lying shoreline structures.
In addition to flooding of low-lying coastal areas, continued erosion of the lakeshore bluff is likely. Residents and municipal officials are reminded to stay well back from breaking waves, and also to stay away from top-of-bluff areas during and after the storm, in case there has been any movement of the lake bank. It is important to remember that there may be a delay between erosion at the toe (bottom) of the bluff and subsequent bluff failure.
This message will remain in effect until 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 19, 2019, unless local conditions warrant further updates. Maitland Conservation will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide an update if required.
Jeff Winzenried, Water Resources Technician
Types of Flood Messages:
Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety – General watershed conditions are being assessed for high runoff potential that could lead to flooding, and to remind the public of general river safety issues.
Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.
Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.