Red alert | 

Status Red storm warning issued for Kerry and Cork as Storm Eunice set to sweep in

Met Éireann has advised people to prepare for power outages tomorrow with gusts in excess of 130kmh forecast
Big waves hit the sea wall at Portstewart (Niall Carson/PA)

Big waves hit the sea wall at Portstewart (Niall Carson/PA)

Heavy winds hitting Whitehead in Co Antrim during Storm Barra in December. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Heavy winds hitting Whitehead in Co Antrim during Storm Barra in December. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Cathy Mulcahy-Costelloe and Marianna Stockwell braving the high winds in Clontarf, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

Cathy Mulcahy-Costelloe and Marianna Stockwell braving the high winds in Clontarf, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

Eoghan Moloney and Katherine Donnelly

A Status Red storm warning has been issued for Kerry and Cork as Storm Eunice is set to sweep in from the west.

The warning for the two counties is valid from 3am tomorrow until 8am as the second storm is set to bring blizzard-like conditions with heavy snowfall, destructive winds, heavy rain and a risk of flooding.

“Storm Eunice will track quickly over Ireland tonight and Friday morning bringing severe and damaging winds,” the advisory reads.

“Southwest winds veering northwest will reach mean speeds in excess of 80 km/h with gusts in excess of 130 km/h. Some coastal flooding, especially at high tide.”

A Status Orange storm warning has been issued for Clare, Galway, Waterford, Wexford, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Laois, Offaly and Dublin.

This advisory is in place from 3am Friday until 11am.

Met Éireann has advised people to prepare for power outages with gusts in excess of 130kmh forecast.

Fallen power lines and trees, and other storm damage is likely as a result.

Communications Meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said there will be a risk of travel disruptions tomorrow.

She said: “Storm Dudley is gradually clearing away from Ireland this morning and what follows today is still a blustery day but we don’t have any wind warnings in force.

"It is a quieter day than yesterday but later tonight that will change again as we have Storm Eunice approaching Ireland and it is going to bring a spell of strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Ireland through Friday morning.”

The meteorologist said there is still a bit of uncertainty on the details of Storm Eunice, but it will likely bring snow to the northern part of the country.

“The northern half of Ireland will most likely to see the most accumulations of snow, we could see a couple of centimetres of lying snow across parts of Ulster and Connacht,” she told RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland.

“That’s not to say we couldn’t see sleet pretty much anywhere but the most destructive snow looks to be across the northern half of the country.

“There is the risk of some travel disruption with Storm Eunice, particularly if they are travelling by air or sea.

“We could also see some travel disruption on the roads due to the heavy rain, snow and blizzard-like conditions.

“It only takes a couple of flakes of snow for visibility to be reduced and also to create some really tricky icy conditions.”

Ms Diamond has advised the public to check with their schools and local authorities of what protocols will be put in place, as last time there was an orange warning with Storm Barra schools were closed.

“It wasn’t that long ago we had widespread orange warnings with Storm Barra,” she said.

“I would advise that if there is an orange warning out in their area to keep a close eye of what schools are saying and what the local councils and emergency services are saying because they will take guidance from Met Éireann on the best way to deal with the potential impact from the weather.”

Eunice may deposit “significant accumulations of snowfall” in parts of Connacht and Ulster, while severe gusts and high winds will be felt in the south and south-west from 5am on Friday, Met Éireann said.

A storm is classed as a weather bomb once it undergoes explosive cyclogenesis and its pressure drops rapidly, by at least 24 hectopascals in 24 hours – which Eunice is expected to far exceed.

Met Éireann said a Status Yellow snowfall warning may be upgraded to Orange closer to Storm Eunice making landfall, as it urged caution to anyone travelling on Friday morning, citing potentially “treacherous” road conditions.

“Any snowfall combined with the strong winds will likely lead to blizzard-like conditions, so you can imagine how poor visibility will be on Friday morning,” Emer Flood, meteorologist in Met Éireann, said.

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While the heaviest snowfall will be in the north and west, there is a chance of sleet and snow flurries in many areas across the country, accompanied by heavy rain and storm-force winds.

“Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford, Galway and Wexford are going to see very strong winds with coastal and exposed areas possibly seeing even higher speeds.

"These gusts will likely cause damage, hopefully not too severe in places, but people should be preparing for power outages and potentially fallen trees,” Ms Flood added.

“Drivers should be careful of fallen power lines and I know this is coinciding with rush hour so people need to be watching for trees on roads and things like that.”

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While the east has not been issued an Orange warning, the forecaster advised that winds will be very strong through Friday morning on the eastern seaboard.

Eunice will track over Ireland during high tides in many coastal areas bringing a significant risk of storm surge and coastal flooding. This will be most likely along the south coast. “There’s an elevated risk of coastal flooding along all coasts of Ireland, but it’s likely to be even greater where we will see the highest winds, along the south, so people should avoid the coasts,” Ms Flood said.

“Aside from strong winds, there is going to be very heavy rain moving up through the country. This will fall on fairly saturated ground... so there is the potential for spot flooding.

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“The heavy rain will meet cold air being pulled down from the north so there is also going to be some snowfall, most likely in Connacht and Ulster. There is a possibility of significant accumulations, which would lead to lying snow.”

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“It’s currently a yellow [snow] warning for the entire country but it could be upgraded to a higher level in some areas,” Ms Flood said.”


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