Weather warning as gales of up to 130kph to batter Ireland

NewsBy Esther McCarthy
Weather warning as gales of up to 130kph to batter Ireland

Gales and torrential rain continued to lash the country this weekend – with forecasters warning of no let-up from the miserable weather for the foreseeable future.

Winds gusting up to 100kilometres per hour battered the country with belts of heavy rain threatening flood defences, particularly on the west coast.

And last night Met Eireann warned of sustained unsettled weather over the coming days, with status orange wind and rain warnings in place throughout the country and the Irish Sea. 

Winds are expected to become particularly strong on Sunday, with gales gusting to up to 130kph and set to reach Storm Force 10 for a time on the Irish Sea on Sunday morning. 

A status yellow alert was also issued for western coastal counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry with rainfall accumulations of up to 50mm likely over the remainder of the weekend.

The high winds led to cancellations of ferry services, with Irish Ferries announcing that all of its Swift high-speed sailings from Dublin Port would not operate this weekend. Passengers will be accommodated on cruise services. 

AA Roadwatch yesterday warned the weather conditions were causing problems throughout the country, with flooding on the Enniscrone/Easky Road in Co. Sligo, and high winds and surface water causing heavy delays to Christmas shoppers travelling on the M50 in Dublin. 

Traffic to the country’s leading shopping centres was heavy and slow moving as bargain hunters looked for deals. 

Motorists throughout the country were being warned to drive with extreme care this weekend as cross winds continued to make driving conditions difficult. 

In the U.K., some towns even delayed switching on their Christmas lights this weekend due to the strong winds. Coastal towns Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and parts of Ayrshire in Scotland postponed their festive plans as winds battered the UK coast. 

As we head towards mid-winter the weather shows no sign of moderating, with forecasters predicting more rain, high winds and even snow in the coming days. 

Winds are expected to ease slightly on Sunday night, but rain will continue to fall throughout the night. 

Temperatures will turn colder on Monday morning, with the rain turning to sleet or even snow in the north of the country as high winds persist. 

The outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday is for the weather to become much milder but unsettled wet and windy conditions to continue. 

Long-range prediction website Accuweather is forecasting that these wet and windy conditions will remain for the early weeks of December.