Thursday 18 January 2018

Warning for drivers as heavy rain ahead

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

ROAD safety chiefs have warned motorists to drive with care as heavy rain is expected across the country over the bank holiday weekend.

As the holiday exodus gets under way, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said up to 65mm of rain was expected today in some places, leading to hazardous driving conditions and possible flooding.

The weather outlook is for a typical Irish summer weekend of bursts of heavy rain, sunny spells and temperatures in the high teens.

Rain will gradually spread this morning from the southern half of the country northwards and will be persistent and locally heavy in places.

RSA chief executive Noel Brett warned that roads would be particularly dangerous after the recent dry spell.

"After prolonged periods of dry weather, there tends to be a build-up of oil and rubber deposit on the road. When this deposit mixes with rainwater, it increases the risk of a skid and increases your stopping distance.

"Our advice is to slow down and increase your braking distance," he added.

Risk

He also warned of the risk of aquaplaning -- where tyre thread fills with water, leaving the driver at risk of losing control of the vehicle.

This is most likely to happen on wet roads where a 100 or 120kmph speed limit applies.

The gardai appealed to all road users to take extra care this weekend and said there would be an increase in traffic.

"In particular, people need to be conscious of the new lower drink-driving limits," said a garda spokesman.

"We appeal to all motorists to make the right choice. If you intend to drink alcohol, leave your vehicle at home," he added.

Met Eireann said there would be further rain overnight tonight across Connacht, Leinster and Munster, as well as fog and low cloud.

Tomorrow will start off cloudy with more rain and there is a risk of spot flooding. However, the cloud and rain will gradually clear.

Temperatures will range from 13-16C but will turn chilly by night and fall back to between 3-6C.

The bank holiday will see the best weather of the weekend. Temperatures will reach 17C in some parts.

Meanwhile, the rest of the weekend is shaping up to be unsettled with Tuesday being wet and blustery. Strong winds and even gales are possible for later in the week.

Irish Independent

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