Monday 19 March 2018

More rain on the way as yet another storm looms

ICY DIP: Dozens of brave souls taking part in the annual Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Photo: PA
ICY DIP: Dozens of brave souls taking part in the annual Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Photo: PA
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

After days of relentless rain, the sun is expected to make a rare appearance today - but it won't last long, with forecasters keeping an eye on what could be another major storm heading our way this week.

After Storm Eva brought torrential rain and a status yellow rain alert for parts of Leinster and Munster yesterday and Christmas Day, forecasters from Met Eireann and the UK's Met Office will be liaising this morning to determine the threat, if any, posed by Storm Frank, which could bring more torrential rain and strong winds to our shores this week.

"It's too early to call it," Met Eireann forecaster Klara Finkele told the Sunday Independent last night.

Aside from a brief reprieve today from endless rain over the Christmas holiday, more wet and windy weather is on the way.

Today will get off to a cold and frosty start with icy patches on some roads. But we can expect some sunny spells this morning, with only a few showers in the west.

However, the sunshine will be short-lived as clouds build throughout the morning and bring light rain and drizzle northwards as the day progresses. Although some areas may remain dry, strong and gusty south to south-westerly winds will develop this afternoon, keeping temperatures a seasonal 9C to 12C.

But heavy rain will return to all areas tomorrow morning, with strong southerly winds. While there will be a gradual clearing starting in the west tomorrow afternoon and spreading to all areas by evening, the rain will return on Tuesday.

"We have one low-pressure system after another," Ms Finkele said of the reason for the persistent rain.

Winds will also pick up on Tuesday night, with strong south-westerly gusts and further outbreaks of heavy rain overnight.

Wednesday is also looking bleak, with more heavy rain set to lash the entire country, followed by showers on Thursday.

Meanwhile, parts of Co Limerick are bracing themselves for more flooding after the ESB was forced to increase the flow of water through the Parteen Weir to 370 cubic metres per second yesterday.

This was due to persistent heavy rain in the Shannon catchment area over the past few days that has caused water levels to rise in Lough Derg.

Areas at risk of flooding downstream from the Parteen Weir include Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon and the University of Limerick.

The ESB said it is closely monitoring the situation and working with local councils as it reassess the situation today.

Heavy rain made driving treacherous across much of the country yesterday and on Christmas Day when downpours led to two separate crashes on the M50 in Dublin causing severe tailbacks.

The AA also reported extremely wet roads and flooding in parts of Cork, Clare, Tipperary, Galway, Leitrim and Mayo.

It urged drivers to slow down and allow plenty of space between other vehicles.

Sunday Independent

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