Sunday 20 October 2019

No let-up on the weather front as 'unsettled' conditions set to continue

Jolly brolly: Santa battles the elements to see all the children at Murrisk community centre near Westport, Co Mayo. Photo: Paul Mealey
Jolly brolly: Santa battles the elements to see all the children at Murrisk community centre near Westport, Co Mayo. Photo: Paul Mealey

Denise Calnan and Alan O'Keeffe

We're not due a let up on the weather-front yet as forecasters are predicting the "unsettled" conditions to continue this week.

Met Eireann said very unsettled and disturbed weather is expected this week, with well above normal rainfall and strong winds at times.

Speaking to RTE Radio One, forecaster Liz Gavin said temperatures will drop as low as freezing tonight.

"The weather should continue to be unsettled this coming week," she said, speaking after Storm Deirdre swept through the country yesterday with strong winds and prolonged heavy downpours.

"There is set to be a band of rain coming across the country tonight, and it's expected to be windy at times too.

"We will have further scattered showers this evening, but it will become dry in most areas tonight with clear spells.

"There will be a few isolated showers continuing in the west and north-west and temperatures will be as low as zero to five degrees.

"It will be coldest in the east with a touch of frost," she added.

Tomorrow, the week is set to begin dry with a few bright spells, but cloudy conditions in the west and south will spread across the country. "It's set to be a blustery and windy day, with gales along the coasts."

Heavy rain is expected in all areas overnight with strong winds easing by Tuesday morning.

The rest of the week is expected to be very unsettled with rain or heavy showers at times.

The forecast comes after strong winds hit the south west, south east and areas of Donegal over the weekend.

Met Eireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe said a gust of 110kph was detected on Sherkin Island in Co Cork during Saturday afternoon.

Orange wind alerts were in force in Cork, Wexford, Waterford and Donegal between 3pm and 10pm.

More than 50mm of rain fell overnight in Carrick-on-Suir in Co Tipperary, she said. The bad weather reduced the numbers of shoppers venturing out on pre-Christmas buying trips with a 20pc drop in expected shoppers in Dublin city centre yesterday.

"Undoubtedly, this weekend's weather will impact shopping numbers on what is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the calendar year," said Neil McDonnell, chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association.

He appealed to consumers to avoid unnecessary long journeys and to shop local.

ESB Networks said all available staff were on standby ahead of a Status Orange weather warning which came into effect yesterday afternoon as Storm Deirdre made its way northeast across the country.

Warnings of "disruptive and damaging" gusts of up to 130km/h had been forecast in western and southern counties in the late afternoon, transferring eastwards later in the evening. Met Eireann issued a Status Yellow rainfall warning for the country, with up to 5cm of rain forecast.

More than 4,000 homes and businesses were left without power yesterday morning in the Glengariff area of Cork. ESB technicians restored power to all of those properties by lunchtime. Teams remained on standby for any weather-related outages.

Some 800 properties lost power in Cahir in Co Tipperary and crews worked to have power restored later last night. A spokesman for ESB Networks said the damage being reported was not out of the ordinary for winter weather and crews had sufficient resources to restore power.

AA Roadwatch warned motorists to take extra care on the roads as flooding was reported in Waterford, Kilkenny and Cork.

In Cork, a child was rushed to hospital after being injured by a falling tree at the height of the storm. The little girl, understood to be nine years old, was cycling not far from the Marina in the Blackrock area of Cork when she was struck by the detached limb of a tree at around 5pm.

She was rushed to Cork University Hospital. Her injuries are not understood to be life-threatening.

Floods in several areas in the South East were reported, while trees fell on powerlines in the worst-hit areas causing homes to lose electricity for several hours before work crews restored power.

The worst-hit areas for flooding included south Kilkenny and Co Waterford. Council workers were on high alert last night throughout the region as river levels rose.

At Dublin Airport 18 flights were cancelled. Irish Ferries cancelled sailings between Dublin and Holyhead but today's sailings were scheduled to go ahead.

Online Editors

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