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Flying debris warning as Storm Ali blows in with winds of 120kph

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A sudden downpour yesterday gives visitors to the National Ploughing Championship in Tullamore a drenching. Photo: PA

A sudden downpour yesterday gives visitors to the National Ploughing Championship in Tullamore a drenching. Photo: PA

A sudden downpour yesterday gives visitors to the National Ploughing Championship in Tullamore a drenching. Photo: PA

Batten down the hatches as Storm Ali rips across the country today.

While the worst of the weather is expected to hit the north-west, Dublin will not escape Ali's wrath as it packs gale force winds of up to 80kph and gusts of 120kph, Met Eireann warned last night.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Dublin and 12 other counties from 5am until 1pm today as Ireland and the UK's first named storm of the season sweeps in from the Atlantic.

Met Eireann is warning of gusts of up to 120kph as Ali tracks from the west coast before moving northwards and over the Irish Sea.

Brunt

The greater Dublin area will be subject to a separate Status Yellow wind warning until 5pm this afternoon.

That means the capital will be hit with strong south to south-west winds reaching speeds of between 50 and 65kph and gusts of 90 to 110kph for much of the day.

However, Met Eireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe warned that the Status Orange wind warning will also come into effect for the capital for a short time this morning.

Winds could reach speeds of between 65 and 80kph with gusts up to 120kph.

"It will be mostly Status Yellow, but for a short while it will be Status Orange," she told the Herald.

While the north and north-west of the country will bear the brunt of the storm, Dublin is unlikely to be left unscathed.

"The risk for Dublin will start in mid-morning, around 9am," Ms Lowe said. "Winds will get strong for a time and could dip into Status) Orange."

Bridges over roads and rivers and other exposed open spaces will be particularly at risk of wind funnelling, she said.

Drivers are advised to beware of blowing debris, downed trees and other road.

Pedestrians and cyclists are also advised to stay indoors if possible while the storm passes.

The winds have the potential to blow off roofs and cause other damage. They will be strongest along the Atlantic coast from daybreak.

Donegal and Mayo and other areas of the north and north-west can also expect heavy rain of around 30mm.

Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry will be in the path of the storm as it moves eastward before heading off into the Irish Sea.

Battered

Dublin can also expect some rain, but it will be light and will taper off to showers by the afternoon.

The UK is also expected to be battered by the storm. Its Met Office issued an amber weather warning for today affecting Northern Ireland, the north of England and Scotland.

It warns of travel disruption and flying debris that "could endanger life".

AA Ireland urged motorists "to adapt their driving to suit the weather conditions and be on the lookout for vulnerable road users such as cyclists as visibility could be reduced".


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