Water Safety / Storm Surge Issued for Lake Ontario & Upper St. Lawrence

Shoreline Conditions Statement Water Safety - Lake Ontario & Upper St. Lawrence River Storm Surge (Dec. 21, 2022)

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 Provincial Flood Watch for the Great Lakes Shoreline.

Weather Situation: A strong cold front will sweep through the province on Friday, bringing strong to damaging southwesterly winds. Sustained winds of 40 - 50 km/h can be expected. Gusts up to 90 km/h, reaching as high as 110 km/h, are possible. Intense winds are expected to continue through Saturday becoming lighter on Sunday, as the system makes its way through the province.

Risks: Forecast winds across the Great Lakes will result in increased water levels due to storm surge and wave heights. SWMC forecasted storm surge values at Kingston suggest water levels could rise by more than 0.5 m before declining on December 24, and shorelines of Lake Ontario will see waves in the range of 1.5 - 2.0 m.

Cataraqui Conservation 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. Shorelines may be slippery, increasing the chance of falling in. The combination of storm surge and high waves could result in localized inundation of low-lying areas, but widespread flooding is not expected.

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 December 26, 2022.

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.