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Met Eireann issues Status Orange warning as Storm Aiden approaches

A walker pictured at the South Bull wall as high winds churn up the sea. Picture: Frank McGrath

A walker pictured at the South Bull wall as high winds churn up the sea. Picture: Frank McGrath

Eoin Murphy

Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange wind warning as Storm Aiden is predicted to batter to the country this weekend.

The weather event is expected to bring strong winds and gusts of up to 130 kmph starting in the south of the country from 5am.

The Status Orange comes into effect at 5am for Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Cork, Kerry and Waterford and remain in place until 10am.

Winds associated with Storm Aiden will reach average speeds of 65 to 80 kmph, with severe and damaging gusts of 100 to 130 kmph.

A separate Status Orange wind warning for Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare will be in place from 8am to 4pm.

Met Éireann have also warned that there will be blustery conditions with heavy rainfall forecast for Sunday afternoon.

“We have issued warning this morning for Storm Aiden because it is going to give us some Status Orange level wind gusts in parts of Ireland tomorrow morning and afternoon,” said forecaster Liz Walsh.

“We have split the warning in two parts as we are expecting it to his southern and south eastern parts during the morning from 5 to 10am.

“Then from 8am we are looking at orange warning winds moving from Clare up to Donegal and that will increase gradually as the morning progresses.

“It might not reach the north until the afternoon but it will get to them, but in the south, it will be very windy from early morning.

“We have a separate Status Yellow wind warning out for the whole country from 3am tonight and we can expect rain as well.

“The important thing to remember is that we are going to get both the wind and the rain right through the weekend.

“A lot of it will happen at night and on Saturday, during the day, there will be a lull before the wind and rain picks up again at night.

“It will be blustery overnight and then there will be heavy rain moving in on Sunday afternoon and that could reach warning criteria so we are keeping an eye on that.

“But we are just going to try and get through storm Aiden first.

“It is going to be an unsettled stormy weekend and it is important to be careful when out on the roads."

As Storm Aiden approaches the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has asked motorists to exercise caution while driving.

They warn that the storm has the potential to make road conditions even more hazardous, and advised motorists, pedestrians and cyclists of the following:

  • Drivers need to slow down and leave a bigger space between themselves and the vehicle in front in wet weather conditions. This is especially important on high speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways where there is increased danger of aquaplaning.
  • If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think. They may also have trees or branches that have fallen that may not be visible.
  • Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.
  • After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance - this helps to dry the brakes.
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Beware of objects being blown onto the road. Expect road conditions to change quickly in high winds so reduce your speed.
  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
  • Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
  • Pedestrians should walk on a footpath, where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas.
  • Cyclist should ensure that they and their bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and back lights.

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