water safety storm surge for lake ontario and st lawrence river

Cataraqui Conservation has issued a Shoreline Conditions Statement today due to forecasted strong winds and resulting storm surge and high waves.

The Surface Water Monitoring Centre (SWMC) of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources & Forestry (NDMNRF) has issued a Storm Surge Watch for the Lower Great Lakes.

Weather Situation:

A large winter storm will bring rainfall and high winds to southern Ontario over the weekend.

The SWMC states that “Winds are likely to be in the range of 30 to 60 km/h from west-southwest gusting to 90+km/h on Saturday. Winds are likely to persist Saturday afternoon to early Sunday when the winds will still be out of southwest at 15 to 35 km/h.”

Environment Canada Marine Weather has issued a Storm Warning, forecasting wave heights building to three to five metres Saturday evening.

Risks:

The SWMC states that “Strong winds for Saturday and Sunday from west-south in the Lower Great Lakes Region will result in significant surge in and significant wave uprush, shoreline erosion and flooding of low-lying areas can be expected.”

Cataraqui Conservation expects impacts from this storm to be relatively localized in this area and is urging residents to take care along the shoreline. The high water and wave action may increase erosion and deposit debris along shorelines and beaches.

For further information on water levels, wind and wave forecasts, and Provincial flood messages visit https://cataraquiconservation.ca/pages/flood.

For information directly from the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) visit:

Cataraqui Conservation staff will continue to monitor ILOSLRB water level forecasts, Surface Water Monitoring Centre Provincial Statements, local water levels, and update Cataraqui Conservation messaging as needed. This Shoreline Conditions Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) 11:59 PM Dec. 12, 2021.

See below for watershed conditions terminology:

Normal: No flood conditions exist

Shoreline Conditions Statement – Water Safety: Higher than average water levels, unsafe banks, or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users and shoreline residents. Widespread flooding is not expected.

Shoreline Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather and lake conditions.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse 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.