Tuesday 20 March 2018

Heavy rain and strong winds to batter country

Allison Bray

RAIN and exceptionally strong winds are expected to batter much of the country today.

Winds with gusts of up to 140kmh are forecast for the Sligo and Donegal coastlines and northwest region in the afternoon.

The rest of the country can expect strong westerly winds with gusts exceeding 100kmh, beginning this afternoon and continuing through the night.

Heavy rain and even hail is forecast, while northwest areas can expect thundery downpours in some parts.

"It's going to get quite stormy," Met Eireann forecaster Pat Clarke said. "There could be some minor structural damage and trees blown down," he said.

He advised people not to venture out along the northwest coast this afternoon and evening due to the risk of being struck by falling debris or trees.

People should also take particular care if they are out in coastal areas -- especially along the western seaboard -- where strong on-shore winds will whip up high seas and freak waves, Mr Clarke warned.

The storm is the result of a series of low-pressure systems that are hovering over the Atlantic and are expected to move into Ireland by this afternoon and blow out over Scotland tonight.

Irish Independent

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