| 5.5°C Dublin

Flights diverted and power cut as 120kmh gales sweep across the country


T2 at Dublin Airport. Picture James Horan/Collins

T2 at Dublin Airport. Picture James Horan/Collins

T2 at Dublin Airport. Picture James Horan/Collins

Flights have been disrupted and homes have lost power as strong winds battered the country overnight.

Storm gusts of up to 120kmh hit overnight and could continue today with variable weather forecast for the weekend.

This morning flights at Dublin Airport appear to have resumed - although there have been some slight delays.

Dublin Airport advises that while the vast majority of flights are operating normally this morning, six flights have been cancelled due to the severe gusty winds overnight.

Passengers are advised to check with their airline for latest updates regarding their particular flight before going to the airport today.

A number of flights to the UK have been cancelled by Aer Lingus due to weather conditions over there.

The British Met Office have issued an Amber weather alert in Central and Northern Scotland, as well as warnings of 120k/h winds and heavy rain due to a "heavy depression" coming in from the Atlantic.

Flights at Dublin Airport had to be suspended last night due to the gusts of 120kmh, with planes diverted to Shannon, Cork and Belfast airports.

Met Eireann issued an orange wind warning for Donegal, where s1ome 800 homes were without power for a time, and yellow wind warnings for parts of Munster, Connacht, Leinster, Cavan and Monaghan. This morning, ESB crews were out at first light in a bid to restore power in North Donegal.

A Dublin Airport spokesperson said that the strong winds had created "very difficult conditions" for aircraft.

Both Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights had to be diverted and a spokesperson for the Irish Aviation Authority, who were providing air traffic control functions at the airport, said a number of flights had been unable to land.

An Aer Lingus spokesperson said two flights had been diverted to Shannon - one coming from London Gatwick and the other from Brussels. Affected passengers diverted would be transported to Dublin by road, he said.

A Ryanair spokesperson also said two flights had diverted to Shannon, but said some flights had managed to land.

Met Eireann said the stormy conditions were at their strongest around 11pm last night.

While it will remain windy today, much milder conditions are also forecast as a warm front sweeps across the country.

"It's going to be windy again Friday afternoon and evening though not as stormy. But it is going to be very mild again with temperatures up to 14C today," forecaster Evelyn Cusack said.

"For the weekend it will be chilly weather. It won't be anything severe but will be cold and windy, but also sunny at times.

She said temperatures would drop back down to around 7C or 8C for Saturday and Sunday.

"Really it is going to be very variable for the coming period, though the 120kmh winds could possibly be repeated early next week."

In Donegal, ESB crews battled to restore power to around 800 homes last night after gusts took down power lines.