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Met Eireann issues new weather warning as records waves to hit Ireland

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A man walks his dog outside Belfast yesterday as Northern Ireland is the first to feel the force of freezing weather conditions moving in from Iceland and the Atlantic.

A man walks his dog outside Belfast yesterday as Northern Ireland is the first to feel the force of freezing weather conditions moving in from Iceland and the Atlantic.

A man walks his dog outside Belfast yesterday as Northern Ireland is the first to feel the force of freezing weather conditions moving in from Iceland and the Atlantic.

RECORD waves could hit the west coast of Ireland over the next 48 hours as an Atlantic storm hits.

Met Eireann has issued a weather warning forecasting wind gusts of up to 110kmh between today and midnight tomorrow.

The gigantic north Atlantic storm will see Hawaiian-sized waves crashing off the west and north-west coasts.

But big wave surfers say they will have to miss the best storm ever, because the wind will be blowing in the 'wrong' direction.

Meanwhile, as the storm hits the west, Leinster will enjoy unseasonably warm weather today before temperatures dramatically plunge by 12C.

The capital and nearby counties could enjoy temperatures as high as 12C today, but they will plummet as low as 5C tomorrow and then close to zero overnight later this week.

Met Eireann's Deirdre Lowe said: "It's certainly going to be cold everywhere. The wind will prevent severe frost but there will be a lot of wind chill. It's going to feel a lot colder than it is.

"It will be close to zero but it's the wind chill that will really be felt."

Those temperatures are likely to be reflected across Leinster. Strong winds will also be felt with orange warnings expected - though not forecast to be as strong as those battering the west of the country.

Rain is also on the way, though Dublin will avoid the worst as heavy showers move up from the Atlantic and may fall as snow in Ulster.

The Irish Coast Guard has again appealed for people not to venture too close to shorelines or piers during the next 48 hours. ESB networks says its teams of engineers will be on standby this week to deal with potential power outages as a result of the storm.

Mayo, Sligo and Donegal will bear the brunt of the storm, which is being blown in from Iceland by a huge area of low pressure.

But surfing enthusiasts say conditions won't be right.

"It's a real shame," said Neil Britton, whose grandparents pioneered the sport in Donegal. "At this stage it is looking like we are going to see the biggest waves ever seen here in Rossnowlagh, something I've never seen before.

"Unfortunately, we need a south west wind to make those waves ridable and the winds will be coming from the west.

"We've taken the week off; we'll keep an eye out and if the wind direction does change then we will certainly go for it, but that is looking unlikely from all the forecasts.

"One thing is for sure, they (the waves) are going to be spectacular to watch. It looks like the biggest swell we've had with waves up to 70 feet high."

Forecasters at the surfing website magicseaweed.com say the swell will hit the west coast from Clare to Donegal around noon tomorrow.


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