Storm Hector to bring powerful winds and flooding risk

Met Éireann says the storm could be ‘nasty’, with gusts of up to 125 km/h expected

Storm Hector is  scheduled to make landfall on Wednesday night off the west coast.  File photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Storm Hector is scheduled to make landfall on Wednesday night off the west coast. File photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

 

After the calm of recent weeks is due the storm. Storm Hector is currently barrelling across the Atlantic and is scheduled to make landfall on Wednesday night on the west coast.

A status orange wind warning has been issued for counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo from 9pm on Wednesday to 10am on Thursday, as wind gusts of up to 125km/h are expected.

High spring tides are likely to coincide with the strongest winds, leading to a risk of coastal flooding and mountainous waves.

Donegal Bay, Clew Bay in Co Mayo and Galway Bay are among the coastal areas most at risk.

Meanwhile, a yellow wind warning is in place for counties Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Clare and Kerry from 9pm on Wednesday to Thursday at 10am. These counties can expect gusts of up to 110km/h.

The storm will come as a bit of a shock given the warm and sunny start to the summer.

Met Éireann forecaster Liz Gavin said the good weather was expected to break down on Wednesday, but forecasters were not sure if this was going to involve a rain event or a wind event until high-resolution images became available on Tuesday morning.

She warned that the storm “has the potential to be nasty” and that Met Éireann may extend the weather warnings to other counties later in the day. “It is a rapidly deepening depression and quite unstable.”

Strong jet stream

The storm is being caused by a strong jet stream which has occurred as cold air from the polar regions meets warm air from the tropics. It is a weather feature which is more common in winter than summer.

Ms Gavin said trees will be particularly vulnerable in the storm, because they are in full foliage at this time of year.

The good news is that the storm is likely to pass over the country fairly quickly, bringing in its wake more showery, changeable conditions over the weekend and into next week.

Met Éireann’s long-term forecast suggests there could be a return to the fine summer weather towards the second half of next week.