Lake Ontario Coastal Regions Could See Waves as High as 20-feet

Over 20 feet high waves on Lake Ontario are expected during the winter storm in Mississauga, Oakville, Hamilton, Durham, and Burlington regions. The winter storm warning issued by Environment Canada ahead of Christmas weekend has hit some parts of Ontario harder than others, while Quebec and Montreal seem to be hit the worst.

Environment specialists had warned of an upcoming storm for Christmas weekend earlier this week. The snowstorm seems to be brewing and some parts of Ontario are being hit worse than others. Notably, wind speeds are said to pick up today, December 23, and could reach up to 90 km/h. The strong winds are expected to drop the temperature significantly bringing a possible flash freeze.

The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) has predicted that the storm could lead to waves as high as 20 feet on Lake Ontario. The lab posted wave forecasts for all five lakes which showed coastal areas in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, and Hamilton could see waves up to 20 feet high. At the center of the lake, waves are expected to be 24 feet high. Experts have shared the storm waves could peak at around 4 p.m. today.

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Eddie Verhamme, Great Lakes engineer/scientist shared on Twitter that this storm will cause significant erosion. There is also a possibility of the waves being even high in the 25 to 30 feet range.

Residents of the areas have been advised to avoid the lakeside and stay cautious through the storm.

Quebec and Montreal seem to be hit worse than other regions. More than 213,000 customers of Hydro-Quebec woke up today without power and the company said the number could increase further. There are power outages, flight cancellations, delays, and flash freeze warnings in Montreal and Quebec. In some parts of the hardest hit areas, strong winds blew away people’s car shelters or Tempos and local police urged them to be secured better. This type of storm is said to only occur once every five or 10 years, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Mitch Meredith. “We may only see one of these storms every five or 10 years. I’ve only seen a couple of storms like this in the last 20 years,” she said.

Vineet Washington

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