Zuzek Inc. secured the funding and led the study entitled “Adapting to the Future Storm and Ice Regime in the Great Lakes”. Other members of the consulting team include Linda Mortsch from the University of Waterloo, RWDI, and Baird. Funding and in-kind support were provided by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, the Credit Valley Conservation Authority, the Region of Halton, the 20 members of the Conservation Authorities Coastal Working Group, and the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources. The study received significant financial support from Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Program.

Refer to the Reports section for links to download the Stream 1 and 2 study reports as well as the final narrative report.

Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Wind-Wave Hindcasts Completed for the Study

Modeled wave time series data can be downloaded by station using the map above.
Use your mouse (or the map '+' and '-' control) to zoom in and click on a Station Marker for download options.

This study was supported by Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Program .


An hourly wind-wave hindcast was completed for Lake Erie and Lake Ontario using historical spatially varying winds from 2000 to 2013. The WAVAD numerical model produced hourly predictions of wave height, period, and direction for the grid covering each lake. This historical hindcast was completed twice, using two concentration thresholds for ice, 10% and 30%. When the NOAA ice polygons exceeded the threshold in a polygon (e.g., greater than 30% cover), the model domain was reduced in size to account for ice effects.

For the climate change projection, winds associated with the ERA-Interim RCP8.5 emission scenario were used. When the ice conditions in the WRF model were evaluated, the lakes were determined to be ice-free the majority of the time. Therefore, for the future projection, the wave model was run without any ice cover. For additional details on the wave modelling, refer to Baird (2019) in the Reports Section below (coming soon).

The time series waves for the three hindcasts were exported at a series of save points around the perimeter of the lakes. Refer to the Map Viewer above.

The modeled wave time series at one location is about ~8 MB in size. The wave height rose below serves as an example of a product that could be generated from these data.

Refer to the Reports section for additional details on the study.

Wave Data Download

Download bulk wave data for Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Lake Erie Waves (~760 MB, .zip)

  • - Existing (10%, 30%) Conditions
  • - Future (no ice) Condition
  • - All Lake Erie Stations

Lake Ontario (~850 MB, .zip)

  • - Existing (10%, 30%) Conditions
  • - Future (no ice) Condition
  • - All Lake Ontario Stations


Final Narrative Report (0.5 MB, pdf)


Chatham-Kent Case Study (3 MB, pdf)