Met Éireann’s chief meteorologist said there was a «risk to life,» as well as a risk of snow and flooding, from Storm Barra over the next two days.
Evelyn Cusack spoke on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, saying that local authorities and emergency services are preparing for multiple risks from a «serious and dangerous weather event» that will begin before dawn tomorrow.
She said the storm will be very heavy rainfall of between 50mm and 70mm.
She said Storm Barra will hit the West Coast between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. tomorrow and will quickly spread across the country.
Ms Cusack said it would be a «very bad morning everywhere» with very strong and gale-force southeasterly winds, accompanied by rain and heavy snow in some places.
She said the snow could be blizzards for a few hours in parts of Donegal, Sligo and the Northwest.
She urged people to be very careful and take precautionary measures today such as tying up everything and bringing in outdoor furniture.
She said parts of Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Tipperary and Cork will see very stormy conditions.
Cusack said the orange alert currently in place in Kerry will turn into a red alert in the next hour.
She said Storm Barra will lead to extremely dangerous driving conditions all day tomorrow and into midday Wednesday.
She said Mitt Erin and other groups will meet with Minister Dara O’Brien this afternoon to discuss Storm Barra.
It will also coincide with high tides.
Western counties – from Galway to Cork – will be hardest hit when Storm Barra makes landfall in Ireland from 6 a.m. tomorrow, according to Met Meteorologist Irene Liz Walsh.
Met Éireann . Released Status Orange and yellow wind warnings for that period.
The Orange Status Warning will go into effect in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Galway at 6am tomorrow and will remain in effect until 6am the following day.
These counties are expected to experience wind speeds of 65 to 80 km/h, with severe or damaging gusts of up to 130 km/h. Coastal areas are likely to experience stronger winds.
The rest of the country will be under a yellow status warning during the same period.
There is a red warning from Roche’s Point to Valentia to Erris Head. The forecaster says that the winds may reach violent storm strength 11 tomorrow.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms Walsh said western coastal counties from Galway to Cork were likely to be hit the hardest, adding that storms in Kerry and West Cork were likely to reach above the orange level warning.
# Storm Para Tuesday Wednesday. keep in touch with https://t.co/KLL68Nn8FQ As an HD model, Harmonie, updates.
coastal flooding. 🌊
Heavy rain / sleet / snow. 🌧️🌨️
Travel disruption. 🚗🚃
Possible trees down. 🌳🌬️ pic.twitter.com/vrQm8hz7iD
– MetEireann December 5, 2021
«Impacts will vary depending on the location, but will include strong winds, high seas with coastal flooding, heavy and strong rainfall, and even some transient sleet and snowfall possible in the northwest,» said Ms. Walsh. .
“Degrades trees, structural damage, so secure any outdoor furniture…as well as Christmas decorations.
«There will likely be travel disruption as well as dangerous driving conditions, so we recommend that you do not take non-essential trips tomorrow.»
The Coast Guard is appealing to all seafarers and coastal communities to be aware of severe weather warnings. The organization also appeals to anyone considering any form of coastal or open water recreation to be aware of the risks posed by forecast storm conditions.
Coast Guard Director of Operations Michel O’Toole appealed to the public to remain vigil to avoid any unnecessary travel.
“Remember stay away, stay high, stay dry. If you see someone in trouble on the water or on the coast, call 112 or use marine VHF channel 16, and ask the Coast Guard,” he said.
Local Authority Serious Weather Assessment Teams (SWATs) are meeting along the West Coast this morning to discuss the storm’s potential impact.
Cork City Council has also issued a warning to downtown residents and merchants about the potential for flooding along city sidewalks on foot from expected increased tides.
The UK Met Office has also issued a yellow case winds warning for Northern Ireland and said strong winds are expected to affect most areas with potential travel disruptions in places.
Galway City Council said the weather response team has begun contingency planning.
«Public notification of all emergency arrangements will be detailed this afternoon. This will include arrangements for the deployment and collection of sandbags, possible road closures, car park closures, public guidance and other relevant information,» she added.
Meanwhile, today’s weather will see rain from the southeastern counties leaving a cool and windy day, with sunny spells and scattered showers. These rains will be frequent in the west and north, accompanied by hail, scattered thunderstorms, and some winter falls.
The rain will die off early in the night and it will dry out for a while with a touch of frost in places. However, later in the night, the southeast winds will grow stronger into a gale and gusty outbreaks of heavy rain will develop.
Additional reporting: Jenny O’Sullivan
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