Sunday 17 December 2017

Ireland to be battered by torrential downpours, thunderstorms and hail

Heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms are on the way
Heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms are on the way
Heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms are on the way. Photo: Thinkstock

WE will see heavy rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and a little sun in the next 24 hours.

Met Eireann said that wet and windy weather nationwide will lead to further spot flooding but drier, brighter interludes will follow. However, they will be followed later by heavy, thundery showers and long spells of rain.

Winds will be fresh to strong with gale force gusts in the south. Temperatures will veer from 13C to 17C with the warmest weather in the midlands.

Saturday is set to start dull with more rain over Leinster and Ulster, but sunshine is expected in the afternoon. It will be breezy with just scattered showers as we head to mid summer’s day next week.

Sunday should be dry with sunny spells, but it will remain decidedly chilly for mid June and Monday will continue cool. Thundery showers are expected again to start next week with long spells of rain later on Monday.

The good news is that Tuesday looks dry with sunny spells and temperatures up to 18C, Roll on summer!

Several areas are on flood alert as forecasters predict more downpours throughout today following a week of torrential rain that has filled rivers to bursting point.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for much of England as a deep low pressure parked over Ireland sends gale force winds and more deluges our way.

It also warned of thunderstorms in the south east and Wales as well as the risk of hail in some places.

Wales and parts of northern England could see up to 3in (75mm) of rain in 24 hours – the equivalent of one and a half times the average rainfall for the whole of June.

Areas hit by thunderstorms could see around half a month’s worth – more than 1in (30mm) – in just two hours, the Met Office said.

However, they may also even be the odd glimpse of summer amid the chaotic weather with temperatures reaching around 65F (18C) and sunny spells.

“It’s definitely looking like quite a mixed bag,” said Ruth Steele, a Met Office forecaster.

“There will be some very heavy showers in some places, strong winds and the potential for thunderstorms and even hail at times.”

The mixed conditions are likely to continue tomorrow before the rain eases across Britain on Sunday, bringing more settled weather with mild temperatures and longer periods of sunshine, the Met Office said.

The unseasonal conditions are being caused by low pressure over Ireland which has winds swirling round it, sending gusts of up to 50mph across the UK.

However, forecasters now said claims that the storms could be the worst in 50 years were "clearly over the top" as the weather would be less severe than the high winds of last week.

The Environment Agency has issued two flood warnings for rivers, where flooding is expected, and 27 less serious flood alerts.

The government agency has also issued direct flood alerts to more than 32,500 properties this week.

Pumping equipment was deployed in several areas in West Sussex to pump out water following flooding earlier in the week after more than two months’ worth of rain fell in two days.

The Environment Agency said river levels across the South East were being monitored closely.

In preparation, teams were out closing flood gates, operating flood storage areas, clearing debris from known hot spots and warning local communities about the possibility of flooding.

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