Storm Ophelia could make way for ‘Storm Brian’ this weekend

Potential for new storm to trigger yellow warning at weekend

Many coastal areas experienced flooding during Hurricane Ophelia. Sinead Murphy’s home in Kinvara in south Co. Galway was flooded, as were the homes of some of her neighbours. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

Met Éireann forecasters have said a potential second storm on Saturday could trigger a status yellow weather warning and will bring rainfall and heavy winds.

The spell of bad weather, which would be called “Storm Brian” if it develops into a storm, is expected to hit Ireland or pass close by on late Friday and Saturday and a smaller bad spell of weather will cross Ireland on Thursday.

Speaking at a briefing of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group this afternoon Met Éireann meteorologist Evelyn Cusack said: “Storm Brian is the second in the series of Irish-UK storm naming season. There is evidence from our medium range models that there is a possibility of a development over the weekend, but it’s highly uncertain at this stage” she said.

“It’s wet and windy for Thursday and Friday, and there’s a huge question mark over the weekend … so nothing is certain so we will obviously be keeping you all informed” she said.

John Eagleton, meteorologist at Met Éireann, said he would not be too concerned with Thursday’s bad weather, which is unlikely to develop into a storm classification. Mr Eagleton said it is predicted to affect the south of Ireland, but may affect other parts of the country. “There will be a bit of wind and rain,” he said.

On Saturday, however, there is potential for the stronger period of bad weather to move over Ireland, which may trigger a status yellow weather warning, he said.

Three people were killed on Monday during Storm Ophelia, the worst storm to hit Ireland in more than 50 years, which also left hundreds of thousands without electricity overnight.

Mr Eagleton said there is potential for strong winds and rain on Saturday.

Based on current models, the forecaster said he was “not too worried about it”, and the potential Saturday storm would be nowhere near the scale of Storm Ophelia. He said if the weather system moved more north, “it could turn into something more” and could trigger a status yellow warning.

Mr Eagleton said “there is a bit of a frenzy” around the weather forecast this week following Storm Ophelia.

Speaking earlier on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Met Éireann meteorologist Siobhán Ryan said the decision to issue a status red weather warning over Storm Ophelia was fully justified and warranted.

“It’s not just about getting the forecast right, it is also an issue of erring on the side of caution” she said. Ms Ryan said that the highest winds yesterday were at Roches Point at 156km/h with winds of 82-111 km/h elsewhere around the country.

She said the description “unprecedented” was accurate and she was hopeful there would not be another hurricane for 50 years, “but with climate change, who knows?”

She also warned of squally showers and high winds in Co Donegal, which could impact on damage assessment and repairs.