Storm Ali: Orange alert in place as severe gusts sweep country

Opening of day two of National Ploughing Championships put back as a safety measure

Storm Ali has made its presence felt on Achill Island, bringing thunder and lightning. Video: Katrina Gallagher

 

A severe wind warning for gusts of up to 120km/h was issued ahead of the arrival of Storm Ali over Ireland on Tuesday night.

The first named storm of the season was expected to bring persistent rain and powerful winds as it tracks along the west and northwest coast from early on Wednesday until late afternoon.

Met Éireann issued the orange status warning, the second highest of the three warning categories, for counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry.

A Status Yellow wind warning is in place for the rest of the country.

The warnings come into force at 5am on Wednesday with winds of 65km/h-80 km/h, and gusts are expected to rise to between 110km/h and 120km/h in some areas. Winds will be strongest along Atlantic coasts. The warning applies until late afternoon on Wednesday.

The storm will impact on the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Co Offaly on Wednesday. The opening of the exhibition area has been put back to 11am as a result of the storm passing through the Midlands between 8am and 10am as a safety measure.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Infrastructure has warned of potential power outages and fallen cables that may have broken due to high winds.

The department also advised people to remove outdoor furniture and loose objects, and to check in on isolated and vulnerable neighbours. Farmers have been advised not to enter fields bordered by trees or with power lines unless absolutely necessary.

Strong crosswinds

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has advised drivers to “expect the unexpected”. Road users should beware of debris and allow extra space when near cyclists and motorcyclists. The State agency has also advised drivers to take note of strong crosswinds, as they can also affect the control of a vehicle. Dipped headlights are recommended at all times.

All pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have been advised by the RSA to wear bright clothing and to take extra care when crossing the road.

As of now, all public transport is running as scheduled, according to a National Transport Authority (NTA) spokesperson, and they will be closely monitoring the situation.

Airlines operating out of Ireland West Airport Knock will contact affected passengers if delays or cancellations occur due to the weather, said Donal Healy, the airport’s head of marketing.

Shannon Airport Head of Communications Nandi O’Sullivan advises passengers travelling during the wind warning to visit their airline’s website for travel updates.

Storm Helene

Storm Ali arrives on the tail end of tropical storm Helene. Met Éireann said a period of unsettled weather was likely to follow Storm Helene as a number of low pressure systems stayed close to the Irish coast.

The forecaster also warned that rainfall warnings may be issued over parts of the country in the coming days as the impact of these low pressure systems becomes clearer.

Tuesday’s weather is expected to remain dry with showery rain developing in the southwest and spreading east this afternoon.

Later it will become blustery with fresh, gusty winds.