WASH OUT Unusual 'cyclonic' change to see Ireland swamped by floods, Met Eireann warns
An unusual 'cyclonic' change will see Ireland swamped by floods over the next few days, Met Eireann has warned.
The forecaster urged the country to batten down the hatches as a low system that is steadily approaching brings with it heavy rain and gale force winds.
There are fears of flooding in some areas, particularly along southern coastal counties, which are expected to bear the brunt of the stormy conditions.
While many places would enjoy a mostly dry Saturday, there will be passing showers, especially in the east and south before the weather deteriorates from tomorrow.
"Further scattered showers will occur tonight, but it will become dry in most places overnight with clear spells developing," a Met Eireann forecaster said earlier today.
"Thicker cloud will affect Ulster and southwest Munster, however, with occasional rain and drizzle affecting these areas.
"A few showers will be still around on Sunday morning, mainly in Ulster and southwest Munster, but it will be largely dry elsewhere with sunny spells.
"It will turn breezier overnight, with moderate southerly winds, increasing fresh to strong and gusty on coasts."
The steadily deteriorating weather conditions will continue until at least Wednesday, the spokesperson added.
"It will be a wet and blustery Monday with rain becoming widespread in the morning. Some heavy falls are likely, with spot flooding in places.
"South to southeast winds will be fresh to strong and gusty near windward coasts. It will be less windy further west and northwest. Maximum temperatures will range from 11C to 14C.
"Low pressure is likely to track near or over parts of Ireland during Tuesday," the spokesperson added. "While the exact details remain uncertain, showers or longer spells of rain are likely and there is potential for strong and gusty winds from a southerly direction, especially near coasts.
"Maximum temperatures will be around 13C to 15C. Clearer conditions will develop on Tuesday night as low pressure moves away, with scattered showers following. Minimum temperature of 5C to 8C."
Alan O'Reilly from Carlow Weather agreed that weather models continued to show a risk of low systems "which would bring very wet and windy weather".
Meanwhile, looking forward a few months and there is more bad news on the horizon.
According to the UK's Met Office, weather phenomenon La Nina could bring colder winter months to Ireland.
The phenomenon, which occurs once every few years and disrupts normal weather patterns around the world, could see Ireland hit with a much colder start to winter and stormier second period of the season if long range forecasters are correct.
Prof Adam Scaife, head of long range prediction at the UK's Met Office, said: "La Niña has a profound effect on weather across the globe with us even seeing impacts that extend across the UK.
"In late autumn and early winter it historically promotes high pressure in the mid-Atlantic, which stops Atlantic weather systems from delivering mild air to the UK, and therefore can allow cold conditions to intensify.