Monday 23 April 2018

Storm Fionn aftermath: Thousands of people without power, snow and strong winds forecast

  • Rain, snow, strong winds and coastal flooding expected
  • Snow-ice warning lifted at 7am this morning
  • Gusts of between 90 and 110 km/h forecast for today
  • Thousands of people without power
  • Severe weather conditions caused disruption yesterday
Storm Fionn arrives on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, with its storm force winds dumping rain and sleet on The Kingdom Photo: Don MacMonagle
Storm Fionn arrives on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, with its storm force winds dumping rain and sleet on The Kingdom Photo: Don MacMonagle
A snow flurry in the Phoenix Park in Dublin yesterday
Gabriel Walsh, from Moycullen, braces against the wind in Salthill Photo: Andrew Downes
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Strong winds and a risk of coastal flooding are now on the cards after Storm Fionn created blizzard-like conditions for drivers last night.

Motorists this morning are being advised to drive with caution, as gardaí report snowy and icy road conditions nationwide.

Thousands of people are also without power this morning following the storm.

Forecasters now have a Status Yellow wind warning in place for Munster, Leinster and Galway.

They are predicting very strong winds on Wednesday evening, which will run into the early hours of Thursday.

Southwest to west winds will reach mean speeds between 50 and 65km/h with gusts between 90 and 110 km/h, and high seas along Atlantic coasts have a risk of coastal flooding.

Met Eireann forecaster Clara Finkele said that although Storm Fionn has passed over Ireland, we should brace ourselves for strong winds and heavy rain.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One, she said: "Winds will further moderate this afternoon ahead of the next depression early this evening, do check for further warnings on Met Eireann's website.

"Heavy and persistent rain and winds will increase to gale force along the west coast .

"Rain will spread further inland this evening and possibly turn to sleet and snow over Ulster and north Leinster this evening and tonight, when it will become very windy.

A snow flurry in the Phoenix Park in Dublin yesterday
A snow flurry in the Phoenix Park in Dublin yesterday

"However in the north, rain will turn to snow and sleet, with a risk of significant accumulations of snow.

"We can expect lowest temperatures of zero to 4 degrees, with a risk of frost this evening.

Gabriel Walsh, from Moycullen, braces against the wind in Salthill Photo: Andrew Downes
Gabriel Walsh, from Moycullen, braces against the wind in Salthill Photo: Andrew Downes

"Temperatures will be very mild for a time over midnight over the southern half of the country."

Met Eireann advised people that we can expect more wintery weather until at least tomorrow.

They tweeted this morning: "Rain and snow forecast until tomorrow afternoon from Met Éireann's high resolution model Harmonie."

The weather warning is valid from 6pm this evening until 2am Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Met Éireann lifted their snow-ice warning at 7am. It was initially valid until 9am this morning.

Forecasters had predicted up to 3cm of snow predicted, especially in Ulster, Connacht and north Leinster.

Their latest weather report reads; "Sunny spells and a few showers this morning, some may be of sleet or snow on higher ground. Gusty westerly winds will gradually moderate through the day. Later this afternoon and towards evening rain will spread eastwards in strengthening S to SW winds. Cold, temps just 3 to 5°C."

They have also noted that the past three hours of radar shows heavy wintry showers more widespread and frequent in the western half of the country.

Efforts are underway this morning to restore power to thousands of people this morning.

ESB's Power Check app shows that more than 3,000 customers are currently without electricity, with Monaghan and Cavan among the worst affected areas.

An ESB spokeswoman told Independent.ie: "Storm Fionn hasn’t had a major impact on the electricity network.

"We do have faults around the country overnight and crews are deploying this morning to repair them, for what will be a busy but relatively routine winter’s morning of repairs.

"Note that pockets in Cavan and Monaghan lost power yesterday night, and due to snowfall and icy roads, we weren’t in a position to safely deploy crews.

"We are continuing to closely monitor the weather forecasts for tonight/early tomorrow morning and crews remain on alert."

Capture.jpg
A map showing the areas worst hit by power outages Credit: ESB Network Powercheck
 

Conditions

Severe weather conditions across Co Donegal caused widespread traffic disruption yesterday and even resulted in lightning damaging a 45-metre blade on a wind-turbine on the Inishowen Peninsula.

People awoke to snowfall in many places in the county but roads were passable.

However, further heavy falls of sleet and snow left many roads in a dangerous condition.

AA Roadwatch has advised people to exercise caution on our roads.

A spokesperson said in a statement: "A very cold start to the day in many parts following a Snow and Ice warning which was in place overnight affecting the entire country.

"At this stage of the morning, conditions seem to be worst in Counties Monaghan, Cavan, Westmeath, Meath, Laois, Wexford and Wicklow."

With more snow and plunging temperatures forecast last night, Donegal County Council issued a plea to motorists to slow down.

"Donegal County Council is urging all members of the public to exercise caution, to take extra care on the roads and to allow extra time for journeys," said a spokesman.

The council's road gritting crews were out again yesterday from 4pm gritting all the main routes in the county with a view to keeping the roads passable.

The spokesman added: "We are appealing to all motorists to take extra care and even if a road is treated it does not guarantee that the road is ice free, so extreme care should be taken. Gritting crews will be out again tomorrow morning."

A number of minor accidents were reported across the county, including in Creeslough and Ramelton.

A warning has also been issued for Donegal and western counties due to an increased risk of coastal flooding.

AA Roadwatch advised motorists to slow down and remember stopping distances are 10 times longer in snow and ice.

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