Motorists advised to prepare for flooding as status orange and yellow rainfall warnings issued
Met Eireann has issued status yellow and orange warnings for heavy rainfall from tonight.
A status orange rainfall warning has been issued for Connacht, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary.
Widespread, very heavy rain, with some thundery downpours are expected tonight and tomorrow. Spot flooding is expected and Met Eireann predicts possible accumulations of 35 to 50mm. However, on hilly ground and on mountains, accumulations may be up to 70mm.
Meanwhile, a yellow rainfall warning will be in place for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Waterford from tonight. Forecasters are predicting possible rainfall accumulations of 25 to 35mm.
Today, most areas will be dry today with spells of hazy sunshine. The best of the sunshine will be seen across the eastern half of the country, and highest temperatures will range between 17 to 20 degrees celsius.
Heavy, persistent rain will develop in the southwest and west tonight, however. While tomorrow will start off dry in the east and northeast, it will be an extremely wet start elsewhere and the heavy rain will extend to eastern and northern areas in the afternoon.
AA Roadwatch has warned motorists to be prepared for flooding on the roads.
“Preparations should begin before rain starts to fall” Arwen Foley, Editor of AA Roadwatch, said.
“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, AA Roadwatch added.
“The problem with flood-water is the effects on your vehicle aren’t always immediately apparent,” Arwen 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 (aquaplaning).
• 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. Do not take your foot off the accelerator as water may get into your exhaust.
• 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.
The rain may clear eventually in the southwest and parts of the west later tomorrow evening.
Overall, Saturday will be a dry day with a few showers, while Sunday will also see some scattered showers.
Next week is expected to be unsettled, with spells of wet and windy weather expected, but it will be mild at times too, according to Met Eireann.