Sunny spell ends with a bang
THE country is braced for more disruption as the heavy thundery showers that brought the scorching drought to an end are forecast to continue over the weekend.
The flash floods, power outages and transport delays of recent days look set to continue as Met Eireann predicts heavy rain with lightning storms to accompany the humid conditions across the country.
Forecaster Eoin Sherlock told the Irish Independent that conditions were "primed" for further heavy showers after "two weeks of extreme temperatures".
This is due to an area of low pressure off the west coast pushing unstable air across the country.
Met Eireann last night issued an orange weather alert for parts of Ulster and Leinster, fearing more than 30mm of rain over a short period of time, and warning of the risk of flooding.
Today and tomorrow, most of the heavy rainfall will be focused on northern parts of Connacht, Ulster and Leinster, but heavy showers are set to spread to the rest of the country by Sunday.
Temperatures over the weekend will be in the high teens and early 20s, and there will be spells of sunshine between the showers.
Five counties in Leinster were affected by the weather warning – Dublin, Meath, Westmeath, Louth and Longford.
Mr Sherlock said that at one weather station in Dunsany, Co Meath, more than 32mm fell in the space of an hour in the afternoon, five times the amount of water that would fall in an average shower.
He said the downpour was "quite exceptional" adding: "That's the kind of stuff that would cause flash flooding."
There were power cuts in Arklow, Co Wicklow, and Leixlip, Co Kildare, after lighting strikes with more than 1,000 homes affected. Power was restored to the last householders by lunchtime.
Delays were experienced along the DART network in Dublin after a lightning strike on the overhead power lines between Bray and Greystones, though other train services continued between the stations.
Irish Rail expects the problem to be resolved in time for rush hour this morning.
And there were traffic delays on the outskirts of Dublin on the Nass Road due to flooding at Newlands Cross.
But there will be sunny spells in the province this morning with highs of 23 degrees – though there is the ongoing threat of thunder storms with heavy rain this afternoon and evening.
As many as 2,000 homes were without power in Fermoy, Co Cork, though power was restored by the afternoon.
Several businesses owners arrived at their premises in Midleton to find they had been hit badly by flash floods.
Mary McCarthy, who runs the local newsagents, said: "The shop is here since 1960 and never before did we have flooding in the shop. Never. It's just been horrendous."
There was also flooding on the Crusheen to Tulla Road in Co Clare and one bore of the Cork-Waterford dual-carriageway between Midleton and Carrigtwohill was left impassable by flood waters. Temperatures in the South will remain high today at between 19 and 22 degrees and there will be scattered showers in the region, some of them heavy with a continuing risk of thunder.
Munster will join the rest of the country in experiencing more widespread rain on Sunday.
THE NORTH AND WEST
Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal were included in Met Eireann's weather warning yesterday and both experienced heavy rain.
Galway city was one of the first places to experience torrential rain and coastal areas of Sligo, including the Strandhill resort, flooded in recent days.
Ulster and Connacht will see heavy showers today and over the weekend with temperatures of between 19 and 21 degrees.