Tuesday 18 December 2018

Storm Fionn: Four weather warnings in place as snow and gusts of almost 140kmh hit Ireland

  • Forecasters issue a Status Orange and three Status Yellow warnings
  • Gusts of 137kmh reported
  • Snow-ice warning issued as snow accumulations expected
  • High risk of flooding on Atlantic coast
  • Snow reported in many parts of the country
  • Lightning damages wind turbine in Donegal
  • Further Status Yellow wind warning issued for Wednesday and Thursday
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Ireland is starting to feel the effects of Storm Fionn and snow and high winds have hit many parts of the country this evening.

Four separate weather warnings are still in place as Storm Fionn becomes the latest winter storm to batter Ireland.

It was predicted that the sub-zero winter storm would send gales and polar showers across Ireland this afternoon and now reports and images from across the country show that to be the case.

Earlier, Met Eireann reported that their weather station in Mace Head in Galway recorded gusts of 66kmh at 8pm this evening.

Sherkin Island reported gusts of 63kmh at 8pm.

Fastnet Lighthouse is reporting gusts of 76 knots, or 140kmh, at 10.14pm.

Just before midnight, Mace Head reported gusts of 137kmh, Shannon Airport recorded 117kmh, as did Sherkin Island.

Snow has also been recorded in most of the northern half of the country, with Ulster hit with heavy snow during the day while Dublin was hit with heavy flurries of snow this evening.

Sligo County Council are reporting that an accident has occurred on the N4 this evening.

The conditions have also caused power outages around the country and ESB Networks are saying that customers in Cavan and Monaghan will not have power restored until 5pm tomorrow due to the conditions.

Met Eireann's latest update, issued just before 11 warned of widespread and heavy wintry showers tonight, with accumulations of snow likely, especially in the northern half of the country.

These showers are expected to ease by the morning but winds will remain strong and gusty. Temperatures will be between -1C and 3C.

Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Snow scenes at Stepaside Dublin this evening Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

The polar weather which will continue overnight, with high risks of flooding on Atlantic coasts. However, the UK is expected to bear the brunt of the predicted weather bomb Storm Fionn.

Met Éireann have issued a Status Orange wind warning for counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork and Kerry.

The Atlantic coastal counties can expect winds speeds of up to 80km/h and gusts of up to 120km/h.

Winds will be strongest near the coasts and there is also a risk of flooding.

The warning came into place at 3.00pm on Tuesday and will remain in effect until 3am on Wednesday morning.

"This evening and for a time tonight, Storm Fionn will bring very strong westerly winds to Atlantic coastal counties," the warning reads.

The weather crew have also issued three Status Yellow warnings, including a wind warning and a snow-ice warning.

The wind warning is for all counties in Leinster, and Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.

"Today and tonight, westerly winds will reach mean wind speeds of up to 55 and 65km/h, with gusts of up to 110km/h," a spokesperson said.

The warning is ongoing and will remain in place until 3am Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, a snow-ice warning put in place for Ireland will remain in place until 9am on Wednesday.

Further snow showers are to hit the country throughout the evening and snow of up to 3cm is expected most especially in Ulster, Connacht and north Leinster, according to Met Eireann.

The warning was updated at 3.00pm on Tuesday afternoon and will remain in place until 9.00am on Wednesday.

According to a roundup of weather reports from a number of Met Eireann stations around the country earlier today snow showers were recorded at Dublin Airport, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan and Knock Airport.

A number of schools across Northern Ireland were closed as a result of the snow and a section of M1 motorway was reduced to one lane during the Tuesday evening rush hour due to the snowfall.

Dublin Fire Brigade and the RSA have urged people to take caution on the roads as icy conditions take hold.

A further status yellow wind warning has been issued for Munster, Leinster and Galway ahead of heavy winds on Wednesday evening.

The winds will occur from evening time until early on Thursday, bringing high seas along the Atlantic and a risk of coastal flooding.

Meanwhile, there has been treacherous conditions across Northern Ireland on Tuesday as snow hit. Roads became impassable and the Ambulance Service reported 10 crashes by 10.30am.

The weather warning for the province has been upgraded to amber.

In Donegal, severe weather conditions are causing widespread traffic disruption and even resulted in lightning damaging a 45-metre blade on a wind-turbine.

People awoke to snowfall in many places in the county but roads were passable.

However, further heavy falls of sleet and snow left many roads in a dangerous condition.

Donegal County Council issued a plea to motorists to slow down.

"Donegal County Council is urging all members of the public to exercise caution, to take extra care on the roads and to allow extra time for journeys," said a spokesman.

The council's road gritting crews were out again from 4pm gritting all the main routes in the county with a view to keeping the roads passable.

The spokesman added "We are appealing to all motorists to take extra care and even if a road is treated it does not guarantee that the road is ice free so extreme care should be taken.  Gritting crews will be out again tomorrow morning."

A number of minor accidents were reported across the county including Creeslough and Ramelton.

Lightning struck a windfarm on the Inishowen Peninsula on Monday evening at around 6pm causing severe damage to a 45 metre long blade on a wind turbine.

The incident took place at the windfarm on Crockbrack Hill, Meanletterbale, Inishowen leaving the nacelle of turbine T1 has been left badly damaged.

Finally, Met Éireann have also issued a Status Yellow weather advisory for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick and warned of coastal flooding.

The warning reads; "High or very high seas are going to affect the Atlantic seaboard over the next few days, leading to an increased risk of coastal flooding."

The country is now bracing itself for wintry showers and snow over the next two days.

Temperatures are due to rise on Wednesday, before they plummet again.

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