Orange and yellow wind warnings were in place in a number of counties throughout Saturday afternoon as Storm Elin tracked across the country bringing strong winds and dangerous road travel conditions.
Met Éireann has also warned that a second weather system, moving in on Sunday, could bring more gusty winds, especially in western areas, and heavy rainfall.
The forecaster issued orange wind warnings for Dublin, Wicklow and Donegal – the warning for Dublin expired on Saturday afternoon but warnings for the two other counties continued until early evening. A yellow wind warning was also in place over the course of the day for Leinster, Connacht, Clare, Tipperary, Cavan and Monaghan, while a yellow rain warning was in place for Co Donegal.
The forecaster warned severe gusts could cause disruption and travel difficulties. Areas with Irish Sea coasts were warned they could see gusts of up to 70m/h (112km/h), with other areas experiencing wind speeds of between 45mph and 55mph.
An orange wind warning is issued by Met Éireann for wind speeds with the capacity to produce dangerous, stormy conditions that may be a risk to life and property.
A status yellow weather alert is given to warn those at risk from certain weather because of their location and/or their activity. It advises these people to take preventative action.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) urged road users to exercise caution and slow down when using the roads on Saturday and reminded drivers to “expect the unexpected” when travelling in the strong winds.
Drivers should also watch out for falling or fallen debris and other vehicles veering across the road during high winds, said the RSA. Drivers should also allow extra space between themselves and cyclists or motorcyclists who may be blown off course by strong winds, said the safety authority. It added that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists themselves should also take extra care on roads during the stormy conditions.
Met Éireann said Saturday would be very windy with sustained high westerly winds developing due to Storm Elin, with some severe and damaging gusts expected.
Temperatures were to be between eight to 12 degrees.
Strong and gusty westerly winds were to ease for a time on Saturday evening with mostly clear weather following for much of the night.
Rain will, however, affect northern fringes early on, and later in the night, outbreaks of rain and freshening southerly winds will move into Connacht and Munster. Lowest temperatures will be between three to seven degrees.
A second weather system, moving in on Sunday, has been named as Storm Fergus by Met Éireann, with fears it could reintroduce some gusty winds, especially in western areas, alongside further rainfall.
A status orange wind warning has been issued for Clare, Galway, and Mayo from 3pm to 8pm on Sunday, while status yellow wind warnings have been issued for Kerry from 1pm to 9pm and for Cavan, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Sligo from 6pm on Sunday to midnight.
The wet and breezy weather overnight on Saturday is forecast to quickly extend to all areas during Sunday morning, with a temporary clearance following. However, further outbreaks of thundery rain will extend down from the northwest into the afternoon and evening.
It will turn very windy from later in the afternoon with highest temperature between eight to 12 degrees. Winds will be particularly strong in the west with some severe or damaging gusts leading to some wave overtopping and possibly localised coastal flooding.
While Monday will begin mostly dry with crisp sunshine, the unsettled weather is expected to continue into next week. Scattered outbreaks of rain on Monday will move into the south and west, gradually extending to other areas towards the evening.
Saturday’s storm was named by Met Éireann, as a series of weather warnings were issued across Ireland and the UK. The UK met office warned the bad weather could cause delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport, and said coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities could be affected by spray and large waves.
In the North, the UK Met Office released a yellow warning for rain for Antrim, Down, Tyrone and Derry.