Severe weather warnings issued as weekend approaches
Motorists should take care this weekend as Met Éireann warns of widespread and very heavy rain in many parts of the country overnight.
An orange alert status has been issued with heavy downpours forecast across Connacht, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary.
There are warnings of widespread spot flooding and average rainfall between 35mm and 50mm - possibly up to 70mm in hilly and mountainous areas.
Cork County Council has issued a warning about severe weather expected from tonight and has asked motorists to expect dangerous driving conditions.
Met Éireann has also issued a yellow rainfall warning for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Waterford, saying rainfall accumulations of up to 35mm are likely.
The warning is valid until Saturday afternoon, they added.
Friday will see most areas will be dry until later this evening, and the best of the sunshine seen across the eastern half of the country.
Temperatures are expected to peak between 17 to 20 degrees.
Heavy, persistent rain will develop however in the southwest and west tonight, and continued into Saturday.
While the east and northeast will start off dry, the heavy downpour will extend to these areas by the afternoon.
The rain may clear eventually in the southwest and parts of the west later tomorrow evening.
Sunday will also see some scattered showers but is expected to be mostly dry.
“Next week is expected to be unsettled, with spells of wet and windy weather expected, but it will be mild at times too,” Met Eireann added.
The Road Safety Authority is advising all road users to take “extra care” over the weekend.
“Preparations should begin before rain starts to fall” said Arwen Foley, AA Roadwatch editor.
“Check your tyre pressure and tread depth - it might be time to replace your tyres as balding can be extremely dangerous in these conditions. Don’t forget about your window wipers too, they should be changed about once a year.”
Anyone travelling long distances is advised to allow plenty of extra time to reach their destination, she added.
“Someone might drive through a large puddle thinking they have come away unscathed only to discover a few hours later, that their car won’t start.”
AA Roadwatch has the following advice for motorists driving in very wet conditions:
- Slow down to avoid losing steering control.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
- Only drive through water if you know it’s not too deep for your car.
- If you have to drive through standing water, drive through the centre of the road, when it is safe to do so, as that is the highest point.
- Allow oncoming traffic to pass first to avoid a bow wave flooding your air intake.
- Drive slowly through standing water and use a low gear to keep the revs high
- Once you start driving through the water, keep going but only if you can see what is on the other side.
- After you have passed through the water, dry your brakes by tapping them lightly and rev the engine to clear water from your exhaust.
- If you’re waiting for an AA patrol, don’t prop your bonnet open as the engine will be harder to start if the electrics are wet.
- Be mindful of other more vulnerable road users; pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Don’t soak them with spray from your vehicle.