Month's rainfall expected in two days
A month’s worth of rain is due to fall across the country over the next two days, according to Met Éireann.
Motorists and homeowners have been advised to take extra care as flooding is a risk on roads and in lowland areas, particularly in the west.
Between 40mm and 60mm of rain is expected to fall in Munster and Connacht today, with 30mm to 50mm expected in Leinster and Ulster. There is a risk of a further 20mm to 30mm of rain tomorrow.
Met Éireann forecaster Gerald Fleming said some parts of the country would experience the equivalent of “a month’s worth of rain in 24 to 36 hours”, which was comparable to the heavy rain that caused widespread flooding in November 2009.
“We have had a fairly long dry spell, and although the last week has brought significant rain and some of the ground is saturated, I don’t think it will bring that level of flooding,” he said. “But I would still be concerned.”
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) said accumulations may lead to excess surface water on roads and flooding in places.
RSA chief executive Noel Brett warned there can often be a build-up of oil and rubber deposit on the road after prolonged periods of dry weather. "When this deposit mixes with rainwater it increases the risk of a skid and increases your stopping distance," he said. "Our advice is to slow down and increase your braking distance to four seconds to allow for poor surface conditions.”
AA Roadwatch has warned that road conditions are extremely wet in most parts of the country making for hazardous driving conditions, particularly on motorways, but no major flooding has been reported.
In Cork, the South Ring Road is flooded at the Sarsfield Road Roundabout, and motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible. There is a risk of flooding along the quays in Cork City this evening, and AA Roadwatch has warned drivers against parking in the area as a precautionary measure.
A small craft warning has also been issued by Met Éireann, with easterly winds increasing from force six or higher later tonight on coasts from Carnsore Point to Roche’s Point to Valentia.
Declan Geoghegan, manager of the Irish Coast Guard, said the dangers from this weather system mean that some local flooding is likely.
“Do not attempt to cross a fast-running river or floodwater fords as they may be stronger and deeper than you think,” he said. “Flooded urban areas may contain many hazards, not least of which include submerged open manholes and downed power lines. "The combination of tides, forecasted high winds in the coming days and swollen rivers may result in very dangerous conditions.”
Heavy rain and strong winds are expected across the country overnight and early tomorrow morning. Rain will clear slowly eastwards tomorrow, and Saturday is expected to be dry.
Next week will be cool, with more rain expected mid-week.
Additional reporting: PA