Flood and storm warnings issued for the weekend

Coastal areas likely to be worst affected

Fri, Jan 31, 2014, 01:00


Heavy rainfall today is likely to lead to localised flooding in many parts of the country, while there is a storm forecast for tomorrow.

Met Éireann meteorologist David Rodgers said last night there would be a period of heavy rain from the early hours of this morning until this afternoon. The main problem, he said, would not be the amount of rain that falls today – but the amount of water that is already in the ground.

“It’ll be a fairly brief period of heavy rain. It’s not so much the rainfall that’s going to occur – it’s to do with the fact there is quite a lot of water already on the ground. There has been a lot of rain over the last week or so.

“Land is saturated and there is water-logging in a lot of places. Some river levels are high. Extra rain might cause overflowing and problems in some areas. It will probably impact the south of the country worst.

“Gales will develop during the night to accompany the rain. There will be high seas along south and west coasts so that combination could give rise to coastal flooding. It’s also a period when spring tides are high around all coasts. The problem is with seas coming in over coastal defences.”

The weather system, which is coming in from the North Atlantic, will spread through the country before clearing off in the early afternoon. There may be up to about 20mm of rainfall.

He said the “big story for the weekend” was that from tomorrow it was to be “stormy”, he said.

“There will be southwest to west gales in all parts. With the showers coming along, it will be pretty awful. The big problem is for the southwestern and western coasts.”

It is the second weekend in a row that Met Éireann has issued a status orange alert for coastal counties. Gusts of between 100-130km/h last week caused widespread power cuts in Galway, Mayo, Cork and Tipperary.