Ireland to escape the wrath of storm St Jude
Winds to pass to the south before hitting Britain
Stormy seas off Brighton Beach yesterday. Millions of people in parts of the UK have been told to brace themselves for what is predicted to be one of the worst storms for years with heavy rain and hurricane-force winds expected. Photograph: Dan Dennison/Getty Images
Fears that Ireland would be struck by the force of Storm St Jude receded last night as Met Éireann predicted the country would be spared the worst of the winds.
Gusts of between 70 and 80km/h during the day eased yesterday evening and while today is predicted to be windy again, conditions are set to be calmer than yesterday.
“Ireland is not going to bear the brunt of the storm,” Met Éireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe said.
“It will stay to the south of us before moving into south Wales and the Bristol Channel, and from there into northeast Anglia.”
Despite the calmer conditions predicted, Irish Ferries Jonathan Swift fast-craft sailings between Dublin and Hollyhead have been cancelled today, but all passengers will be accommodated on the slower cruise ferries.
Updates on these and other sailings are at irishferries.com. Stena Line sailings from Rosslare to Fishguard were cancelled yesterday. The company has not listed any cancellations for today but updates are available at (01) 204 7799 .
England and Wales are bracing themselves for the worst storm in years with heavy rain and hurricane-force winds expected.
Winds of more than 120km/h are predicted with the potential to bring down trees and cause widespread structural damage, leading to power cuts and transport chaos.
Surface water floods could strike much of England as the UK Met Office predicts 2-4cm of rain could fall within six to nine hours.
The storm has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes and depression, whose feast day is today. The Met Office said the expected wind strengths would be similar to storms in March 2008, January 2007 and October 2000.
Met Éireann said there is a likelihood of locally squally, thundery showers, particularly in Connaught today, with quite strong winds at times. But where showers occurred they were likely to pass quickly, Ms Lowe said. There is the potential for gales off the Atlantic coast, but they were likely to stay out to sea.
Winds are set to ease tonight, but Tuesday will again be blustery and showery, a pattern which looks set to continue for the week.
Some outdoor events were cancelled yesterday due to bad weather including the the Samhain festival in Marlay Park, Dublin.
However, the Dublin Marathon, which starts shortly before 9am this morning, is due to go ahead.