Orange weather warning in place as Storm Dylan bears down on Ireland
Strong winds overnight on Saturday expected to bring ‘severe and damaging gusts’
A cormorant flies over the South Wall as storm Ophelia builds off the east coast earlier this year. File photograph: Cyril Byrne
Storm Dylan is set to pass across Ireland on Saturday night and Sunday morning bringing strong winds, with Connacht and Ulster expected to be worst affected.
On Saturday Met Éireann issued an updated orange weather warning for Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Longford, Louth, Westmeath, Meath and Clare. As the storm tracks about 200km northeastward off the Irish coast, western and northern counties can expect strong winds with gusts reaching 125 km/h.
The forecaster has also issued a status yellow weather warning for most parts of Leinster and Munster, warning of strong winds reaching gusts of 90 to 110km/h.
The worst of the storm will affect Ireland between 9pm on Saturday evening and about 6am on Sunday, and will bring “severe and damaging gusts in places” the national forecaster outlined. The Met Éireann weather warnings remain in place until 12pm on New Year’s Eve.
The low pressure weather system is expected to land near Donegal Bay and track up along the northern coast of Ulster, before passing towards southern Scotland.
Meteorologist Vincent O’Shea has warned people living in western and northern counties to take particular care on Saturday night and to avoid going outdoors unless absolutely necessary. Mr O’Shea also warned of possible structural damage in some areas.
“The storm will be at its worst during the night - sometime between midnight and 6am on Sunday - and people should take precautions,” said Mr O’Shea. “ It wouldn’t be advisable to be out driving in the middle of the night anyway.
“We release these warnings so that people will be prepared and with an orange status warning people should heed it and try not to expose themselves to the extremely strong winds.”
Mr O’Shea said he did not expect Storm Dylan would be “record breaking” but that the depression would bring very strong winds.
He also warned of heavy rain and “a big surge off the Atlantic” with waves measuring 8-10 metres on the west coast. Asked if western counties should expect flooding, Mr O’Shea said the strong tidal surge could cause a swell which would force water up the Shannon estuary.
“A weather event like this could definitely make the water higher and bring a risk of coast surges.”
The meteorologist says counties Sligo, Mayo and Donegal should take special precautions ahead of the storm which is due to pass by the west coast of Ireland before continuing northeast towards Scotland.
An orange weather warning is issued when weather conditions are expected which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas. An orange alert implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions, according to Met Éireann.
The UK Met Office have also issued a weather warning for winds of up to 80km/h for parts of Scotland, although Ireland is expected to see the biggest impact of the storm.
Current projections show that by 2am on Sunday morning the eye of the storm will have passed by Ireland, but the country will still be affected by heavy winds for a number of hours afterwards.
“Sunday morning will continue very windy or stormy over the northern half of the country. Very strong and gusty west to southwest winds will persist for a time with further severe gusts of up to 125 km/h,” the State forecaster said in its latest prediction on Saturday.
“In the late morning winds will however begin to ease,” it added. “There’ll be sunshine and heavy possibly thundery showers through the day too. Feeling cool with highest temperatures of 6 to 9 degrees Celsius.”
The next storm in the Irish and UK naming pattern will be called Storm Eleanor.
Authorities in Limerick have cancelled the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations because of the risk of flooding. In a statement Limerick City and County Council said it was acting on health and safety advice and had instructed that flood barriers be erected immediately along Clancy Strand, O’Callaghan Strand and the boardwalks and they would remain in place for New Year’s Eve.
“Clancy Strand is the event site for the large scale projection mapping onto King John’s Castle and unfortunately due to the risk of flooding this area is not available for use by the event management company. It is with great regret that the extravaganza must be postponed and will now happen as part of Limerick’s St Patrick’s Festival 2018,” the statement published on the Christmas in Limerick Facebook page said.
In Dublin the New Year’s Festival is scheduled to continue as planned with no cancellations due to the windy weather. A statement from the NYF Dublin team wrote that all events were scheduled to run as programmed. “As with all our events we closely monitor weather conditions and are in regular contact with Met Éireann. Currently, the storm centre is predicted to effect the west and north of the country. For regular updates on NYF Dublin events we have advised attendees to monitor our social media and online channels .”
Met Éireann’s weather outlook:
On Sunday night, New Years Eve, it will be cold and mainly dry with frost in many areas and some icy patches. Lowest temperatures of -1 to +3 degree.
New Year’s Day will bring a mix of sunshine and showers. There may be more prolonged rain in the south for a time. Highest temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees with light to moderate southwest breezes. On Monday night, there’ll be some ground frost in places.
On Tuesday, after a dry start, it will become wet and blustery as rain spreads eastwards. Highest temperatures of 7 to 10 degrees with fresh to strong west to southwest winds.
Wednesday will be cold, windy and showery with some of the showers turning wintry. Highest temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees with fresh, gusty northwest winds.
On Thursday, rain and sleet will spread eastwards to all areas, clearing to showers on Thursday night.
Friday will be cold and showery.