The State’s emergency response team is keeping a close eye as the entire country braces itself for Storm Barra that will “come in like freight train” on Tuesday morning, with a Status Red ‘violent storm’ warning on the way for some marine areas.
Winds exceeding 130km/h are expected, as well as heavy rain, high tides and storm surges that could lead to coastal and localised flooding.
There is also a risk of hail, sleet and snow.
Met Éireann yesterday evening upgraded its Status Yellow wind warning for counties Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Galway to a Status Orange alert that will remain in place for 24 hours from 6am on Tuesday while the rest of the country will be under a Status Yellow wind warning over the same period.
Southern and western counties are expected to bear the brunt of the storm that is currently brewing over Canada and will sweep in on the Jetstream as part of a major storm depression that will develop in the mid Atlantic ocean tomorrow.
Speaking this morning, forecaster Liz Walsh told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland that the storm will be “quite longwinded”.
“Storm Barra will start to impact Ireland at around 6am tomorrow, it will actually be quite longwinded as it will last all the way through Tuesday and into Wednesday night,” .
“Worst affected looks to be those western coastal counties, Galway down to Cork in particular will be worst affected, certainly Kerry and West Cork will have potential to have even higher gusts that the orange level currently in place.
“The impacts are going to vary depending on your location, it is going to be extremely windy everywhere tomorrow not just in the western coastal counties, Dublin and Leinster will also get a fair whack of winds and certainly well into the yellow warning criteria which is gusts of 90-110km, which is not to be sniffed at, at any stretch of the imagination.
“But currently the western counties will be even higher, orange level with gusts of 110-130km and the red level you are in excess of that.”
Ms Walsh said impacts will vary depending on location, but no one should make unnecessary journeys.
“So impacts vary depending on location but they will include high winds, high seas with coastal flooding, heavy falls of rain and some transient falls of sleet and snow in the north west of the country,” she said.
“[There will be] trees down, structural damage, so secure any outdoor furniture, especially businesses that have outdoor furniture for Covid and Christmas decorations and there will be disruption to travel as well as hazardous driving conditions so we would recommend not to make unnecessary journeys tomorrow.”
“It’s coming in like a freight train on Tuesday morning,” Met Eireann forecaster Liz Walsh told Independent.ie last night.
Winds could reach between 90 to 110km/h elsewhere throughout the day, Ms Walsh said, adding there will likely be “a few blasts in the morning and again in the evening along the east coast, including the greater Dublin area, from around 4pm to 7pm.”
She said the storm will also involve heavy rain, including “warning levels” of rain in which between 20mm and 30mms of rain could fall within a six-hour time span, bringing the risk of localised flooding.
Meanwhile, The National Directorate for Fire & Emergency Management’s Crisis Management Team met with officials from Met Éireann, the Office of Public Works, local authority Severe Weather Assessment Teams and government departments and agencies today to discuss the implications of the coming storm.
“There is an expectation that Met Éireann will issue further warnings in advance of Storm Barra as the likely impacts become clearer,” the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage said in a statement this evening.
The crisis management team will “continue to actively monitor this evolving situation working with Met Éireann, OPW and all local authorities,” it read.
In the meantime, it is urging the public to monitor Met Eireann for further updates and warnings and “heed local authority advice during this time.”
“Local authorities have activated their Crisis Management Teams and local co-ordination groups and coastal flood defences are being put in place,” the statement said.