Friday 19 April 2019

Storm Gareth: Met Éireann issues Status Orange and Yellow warnings as heavy wind and rain to hit Ireland

The brollies will be needed
The brollies will be needed

Amy Molloy and Laura Lynott

MET Éireann has issued three weather warnings for today and tomorrow as Storm Gareth looks set to bring "disruptive" conditions to Ireland.

A Status Orange warning has been issued for Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo, while a Status Yellow warning will come into effect for the rest of Ireland.

The warnings will be in place from 12pm tomorrow until early Wednesday morning.

The national forecaster has also sent out a Status Yellow rainfall warning for Connacht, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

Heavy rain followed by squally showers will lead to the risk of rainfall accumulations of around 25mm.

This warning comes into effect at 6pm this evening and will remain in place until 6am tomorrow.

The Met Office in the UK has issued a ‘danger to life’ warning across the country but Met Eireann has only released a mid level warning and doesn’t believe Gareth will be as much of a concern here.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads during the storm.

The group has issued a checklist for the public to be aware of objects being blown out onto the road. “Expect the unexpected,” a spokesman said.

“Watch out for falling or fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road,” the spokesman added.

“Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong crosswinds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.

“Drivers should allow extra space allow between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists, as they may be blown off course by strong winds.”

Met Eireann forecaster Matthew Martin said:  “Storm Gareth, named only a couple of hours ago, is developing in the north Atlantic and it will push first towards the north of Ireland and then into the south, later during Tuesday.

“From Tuesday right through to Wednesday afternoon it will be windy across the country and there will be widespread showers with hail and thunder.

“There will be strong westerly winds across the country of up to 100 kph an hour while in the northwest, in Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo, where we have an orange warning in place - gusts will reach up to 130kph.

“The winds could be potentially damaging, causing some power outages and potentially causing some trees to fall down.  We are also expecting high seas on the Atlantic coast.

“But this is a mid level threat, it isn’t a red warning. This isn’t a stay in doors type warning.

“The worst of the storm will take place in the earlier part of the day tomorrow.

“And we do not expect to have to extend the warnings.”

The forecaster has also notified the public of potential flooding in coastal areas.

The winds will move northwesterly into Tuesday night before weakening in strength and temperatures will remain low at around 3C to 6C.

Southerly winds will increase to gale force 8 or strong gale force 9 on Irish coastal waters from Roches Point to Slyne Head to Malin Head, soon extending to remaining sea areas, Met Eireann noted.

It will become increasingly windy during Tuesday as storm Gareth “tracks towards Scotland” the forecaster stated.

“And westerly winds will be strong to gale force and gusty by the late afternoon, with strong gale to storm force winds developing in the coastal fringes of Connacht and west Ulster.”

Wednesday will start blustery with strong and gusty northwesterly winds and gales in coastal regions easing while showers will also abate during the morning.  Northwest winds will moderate early on Wednesday night as temperatures reach 7C.

Severe gales will also hit the UK on Tuesday for 24 hours.

Forecasters there predict Gareth is a storm posing a danger to life due to flying debris, falling trees and large waves.

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