Man dies after car hit by falling tree as Storm Arwen strikes

Met Éireann issues warnings for strong winds and low temperatures

Strong northwesterly winds will gust and reach gale force along the north and northwest coasts on Friday night. Photograph: iStock

Strong northwesterly winds will gust and reach gale force along the north and northwest coasts on Friday night. Photograph: iStock

 

A man has died after his car was hit by a falling tree on the Dublin Road in Co Antrim.

The road has been closed in both directions and diversions are in place, a PSNI spokesman said.

Irish and British meteorological agencies have issued warnings for strong winds as Storm Arwen strikes.

Temperatures are due to hit zero in some parts of Ireland on Friday night and early into Saturday, giving the feeling that winter has truly arrived.

And it is not just freezing conditions, Met Éireann forecasters also say wind, thundery rain showers, hail, sleet and even snow are expected in various parts of the island.

Strong northwesterly winds will gust and reach gale force along the north and northwest coasts, in a weather pattern associated with Storm Arwen.

On Friday night showers of rain, hail and sleet are expected across the north and northwest with a possible dusting of snow in some areas before morning.

“There is also a risk of frost and ice too. Bitterly cold, owing to an added wind-chill factor, with lowest temperatures of 0 to 2 degrees,” Met Éireann said of conditions nationally over the coming hours.

Saturday

Things are unlikely to improve much on Saturday. Strong winds and “bitterly cold weather” will continue and temperatures will climb only as high as 3 to 6 degrees. In the north of the country, showers will threaten once again to turn icy, even delivering snow on higher ground.

Saturday night will see the winds ease off but temperatures remain very low. Rain is due to spread in over the west and then into Munster. The east will be dry and cold, and remain so as the cold snap rolls into Sunday.

Higher temperatures will begin to come back in the west of the country, and dull conditions are due to give way to some sunshine in the east.

But temperatures on Sunday will struggle to rise, reaching a maximum of 11 degrees in Munster and Connacht but just 3 to 5 in Leinster and Ulster. Sunday night will be cold and those temperatures will drop close to or below freezing in the east and north, and not much higher elsewhere.

As the country heads into next week, the weather offers a mixed bag.

In Northern Ireland on Friday and Saturday, a weather warning remains in place with gusts of wind up to 60mph predicted. Ferry sailings from Belfast and Larne ports have been cancelled on Friday, as has the Ballycastle to Rathlin Island ferry.