Thursday 15 November 2018

Yellow level wind impacts 'increasingly likely' as Storm Helene approaches - Met Éireann

  • Tropical storm is currently lurking over the Atlantic
  • Met  Éireann's latest update says yellow level wind impacts looking "increasingly likely"
  • UK Met Office have issued two status "yellow" alerts
  • Storm Helene is expected to lose its tropical status by the time it hits Ireland
  • Monday night will be "very disturbed with widespread heavy rain and gales"
  • Met Eireann: 'We're aware of the situation and monitoring it'
This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence, upper left, in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. At center is Tropical Storm Isaac and at right is Hurricane Helene. (NOAA via AP)
This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence, upper left, in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. At center is Tropical Storm Isaac and at right is Hurricane Helene. (NOAA via AP)

Rachel Farrell

Storm Helene may bring rough and windy weather to Ireland early next week but it is unlikely to bring hurricane conditions when it lands, Met Éireann have confirmed.

The tropical storm is currently lurking over the Atlantic and while the UK Met Office have issued two status "yellow" alerts, Met Eireann say that weather warnings will come as more certainty develops over how strong the conditions will be.

"Yellow level impacts from wind are looking increasingly likely for coastal districts of the east and south, with strong gales or storm force winds for a time in the Celtic and Irish seas. Short interval intense rainfall may occur in places, but due to the speed at which the system is moving through, it is not envisaged at this stage that a rain warning will be required," Met Eireann's latest update on the storm reads.

"There is definitely something happening on Monday night, it will be very wet and windy, but we are not expecting hurricane status conditions,"a Met Eireann spokesperson told Independent.ie this morning.

"There will most likely be yellow and orange warnings issued in due time but nothing more than that."

Storm Helene is expected to lose its tropical status and become more akin to the low pressure systems we are used to seeing in our part of the world by the time it reaches Ireland after the weekend.

The current forecast shows that "ex-Tropical Storm Helene" will hit the south of Ireland on Monday night, moving northeastwards through Tuesday morning.

Ireland can expect a humid night on Monday should the storm pass through, with the potential for warning level winds and plenty of rain, according to the national forecasters.

"Monday night will be very disturbed with widespread heavy rain and gales. It may turn stormy in places for a time with severe gusts and localised flooding," the current report says.

"Winds will ease somewhat, and Tuesday will be cloudy with frequent showers while staying very blustery.

Storm Helene’s likely path (PA Graphics)
Storm Helene’s likely path (PA Graphics)

"It'll stay very unsettled through Wednesday and Thursday also with frequent spells of rain, and a potential for further sizable amounts. Winds predominantly from the southwest will often be strong."

Speaking to Independent.ie as Met Éireann released a briefing on the storm yesterday, forecasters acknowledged that the UK's Met Office have issued weather warnings ahead of the weekend but said they generally wait until closer to the weather event.

"We have a different method of issuing warnings. The UK Met Office have the capabilities to issue warnings up to five days in advance," the forecaster said.

"Ourselves, we wait longer. To be sure of what's down the line, we wait for our higher resolution models to come.

"We are waiting to see what they come up with, and we will issue warnings if required, as required.

"We're aware of the situation and monitoring it."

In the UK, the Met Office have issued two "yellow" alerts, saying that "very strong winds" could pose the risk of "injuries and danger to life" because of flying debris.

Large waves lashing coastal regions also have the potential to harm by propelling "beach material" onto seafronts, the warning said.

In the US, Hurricane Florence has left five people dead and more than 720,000 customers without power before being downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

 

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