IRELAND is braced for Storm Dennis this weekend after bitterly cold weather and snow hit many parts of the country.
Met Éireann have urged the public to stay tuned for weather warning updates, after the UK Met Office advised Storm Dennis could pose a “danger to life”.
While no official warning has been issued yet in Ireland, Jonathan McGovern, a meteorologist for Met Éireann, said that it looks very likely the storm will wreak havoc across the State.
“We advise that people keep up with the warnings closer to Storm Dennis’ arrival,” he told Independent.ie.
“The UK Met office named Storm Dennis which will arrive on Saturday so for the next few days it’s going to be largely unsettled with low pressure staying to the west affecting our weather.
“On Saturday, and the weekend on the approach to Storm Dennis, it will be very wet and windy with rain bands associated with that storm passing between the afternoon and evening, temperature of 8C to 10C.
“Sunday will be another wet and blustery day with spells of rain.”
Since Storm Brendan hit Ireland in early January, the country has seen the tail of two UK storms, Arctic conditions with snow brought in from Canada and extremely wet and windy weather has prevailed. Across the country this week sporting events have been postponed and thousands of houses have lost power.
The country also saw a covering of snow in many areas.
Yesterday children escaped injury when ferocious gusts ripped the roof of a school in Achill, Co Mayo just minutes after they had begun their school day.
Up to 12 tonnes of the asphalt flat roof landed in the playground and a neighbouring field of Dooagh National School.
The incident happened yesterday amid a status yellow wind warning which has since ended.
The school lies along one of the most westerly coastal points of Achill and has just under 40 pupils.
A statement from the school said: "Storm Ciara did not end for us on Saturday but has well continued into this week. Furthermore the wind is from the North West which is well known locally as been even more destructive.
"There was a constant gale this morning along with severe gusts. Shortly before 9.30 a violent gust hit the school and ripped the entire flat roof which consisted of asphalt and other materials of about 12 tonnes in weight and an area of 200 square meters and landed it in our adjacent football field knocking the boundary wall between ourselves and the neighbouring field.
"The material first hit the boundary wall at 20 meters and continued on for another 15 meters before coming to a final stop.
"The whole roof was airborne and some of our parents witnessed the event happening and described it as a scene from a disaster movie. Thankfully nobody was hurt but it does call into question what are the criteria for a “red wind warning."
While winds of this, and an even greater magnitude are likely this weekend, Mr McGovern said that the bitterly cold weather experienced this week will at least begin to subside.
“Showers today will be confined mostly to the north west and it will clear later in the day towards the east,” he said.
“These will ease off so it won’t be as windy but they’ll freshen up again later on in the week.
“Thursday looks like it will be mostly showery with rain across the country and blustery north north-west winds.
“It will be warmer though as the cold snap will be finished, with higher temperatures of 4C to 5C in the north and 9C to 10C in the south. However it will still feel chilly with the wind.
“On Friday these winds will strengthen again and a new band of rain will move in.
“Temperatures will be 9C to 12C.”