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Thunderstorms to continue today as Met Éireann issue rainfall warning

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Lightning strike at over Oola, Co Limerick. Photo: Dave Mullen

Lightning strike at over Oola, Co Limerick. Photo: Dave Mullen

Lightning strike at over Oola, Co Limerick. Photo: Dave Mullen

More localised thunderstorms are expected today as Met Eireann warn of of the potential of "downpours" in some eastern counties.

The national weather office issued a Status Yellow rainfall warning for Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, where they expect "further heavy downpours moving westwards with spot flooding."

The warning is in place until 2pm today.

A funnel cloud - considered by meteorologists to be a precursor to a tornado - was spotted in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, about 1.30pm yesterday and lasted for about half an hour.

But according to Met Éireann forecaster Liz Coleman, it didn't progress any further into a tornado.

However, the sighting was part of an intense band of lightning and thunder that affected mostly Co Cork, and south Leinster yesterday afternoon and evening.

It is attributed to convective cells which are generated from the clash of extremely cold upper air - around -22C - with warm surface temperatures of around 22C, she said.

"The intensity of the convection is causing thunderstorms over a number of days," she said.

While north Leinster escaped any heavy downpours and thunder and lightning yesterday evening, there was a risk of thunderstorms developing in the area overnight and into the early hours of this morning, she added.

On Monday, her colleague Deirdre Lowe had warned lightning associated with the band of heavy rain could be very dangerous and could be potentially fatal if a person is struck.

"It is dangerous," she told the Irish Independent.

"So take precautions. You wouldn't go playing golf where there are warning signs.

"Don't go near a tree. If you're in an open space, you don't want to be the only thing that's standing there because that attracts the lightning.

"So you take precautions. There has actually been quite a lot of lightning.

So there's been power outages over the country and that could occur today as well. So there definitely is a risk with lightning."

There were no reports of anyone being injured by lightning strikes by last night.

However, the storm did generate very heavy rain in some areas, Ms Coleman said.

In Cloyne, Co Cork, 31.2mm of rain fell in just an hour while Roches Point in Co Cork received 15.8mm over the same time period.

Irish Independent