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Monday 16 September 2019

Enjoy warm weather for now - Hurricane Ophelia is on the way

Hurricane Ophelia has continued to strengthen
Hurricane Ophelia has continued to strengthen

Ian Begley and Kathy Armstrong

Soaring temperatures this weekend will be short-lived as Hurricane Ophelia is set to hit with a combination of storm-force winds and heavy rainfall.

Temperatures of up to 19C have been forecast for today and tomorrow as the country enjoys unseasonably high temperatures.

But enjoy the good weather before it's too late as forecasters have warned Hurricane Ophelia has "continued to strengthen" as it tracks towards Ireland.

Ophelia is currently south of the Azores and is expected to bring winds of over 120kmh when it reaches Ireland on Monday.

The Florida-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said it is gaining strength but it is expected to be downgraded to a post-tropical storm by the time it reaches Ireland.

However, heavy rain, wind and "dangerous marine conditions" are predicted.

"Ophelia is expected to transition to a hurricane-force post-tropical cyclone by Monday when it moves near Ireland and the United Kingdom," an NHC spokesperson said.

"While post-tropical Ophelia will likely bring some direct impacts from wind and heavy rain to portions of these areas, as well as dangerous marine conditions, given the forecast uncertainty at these time ranges it is too soon to determine the exact magnitude, timing and location of the impacts.

"Residents in Ireland and the United Kingdom should monitor the progress of Ophelia for the next several days."

Met Éireann has issued a status yellow weather warning for Ireland until 6am on Tuesday as it advised of "potential high-impact events".

A spokesperson warned: "A combination of a vigorous Atlantic weather system and the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia will pass close to Ireland on Monday, and has the potential to be a high-impact event in parts of the country.

"There is a lot of uncertainty as to the exact evolution and movement of this weather system during the coming four days, but storm-force winds, outbreaks of heavy rain, and very high seas are threatened."

AA Ireland has also urged people to prepare a "home storm kit" ahead of the adverse weather. "As Ophelia is the first severe weather event we'll have encountered this year, homeowners may not be fully prepared for the potential heavy rainfall and risk of flooding," said Conor Faughan, AA director of consumer affairs.

Irish Independent

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