Monday, May 20, 2024

Ireland braces for NEW storm before Kathleen as worst-hit counties revealed

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IRELAND will be battered by wet and windy weather associated with Storm Olivia – before Storm Kathleen brings more flooding and 130kph gusts on Saturday.

Met Eireann has issued several weather warnings for Storm Kathleen’s “strong winds and damaging gusts” on Saturday, but experts have warned that grim weather will hit before then due to Storm Olivia.

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Storm Kathleen will bring 130kph weather hell on Saturday
But before then, Ireland will be hit by high winds and heavy rain associated with Storm Olivia

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But before then, Ireland will be hit by high winds and heavy rain associated with Storm OliviaCredit: PA
Met Eireann has warned people travelling as the Easter holidays come to an end

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Met Eireann has warned people travelling as the Easter holidays come to an endCredit: PA
Power outages and fallen trees are predicted

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Power outages and fallen trees are predictedCredit: Pacemaker

Carlow Weather expert Alan O’Reilly said Olivia, which was named by the Portuguese Met Office will have an impact on Irish weather.

He said: “Ahead of Storm Kathleen on Saturday we have some wet and windy weather coming tonight and tomorrow associated with Storm Olivia that was named by Portuguese Met with heavy rain this evening and then windy conditions tomorrow before more heavy rain tomorrow night.”

The public have been warned to take extreme care on Saturday, with a Status Orange “threat to life” warning issued for four counties.

Cork, Kerry, Galway, Waterford and Mayo’s warning kicks in from 7am on Saturday and will remain in place until 5pm.

The rest of the country will be under a yellow wind warning from 7am to 8pm on Saturday.

Met Eireann predict “very difficult travel conditions, fallen trees, power outages, coastal flooding and wave overtopping” during Storm Kathleen.

Deputy Head of Forecasting Liz Coleman issued an urgent warning for people planning to travel during the “rapidly deepening” storm.

She said: “It is the end of the Easter holidays so there will be a lot of people travelling and they may not be expecting such unseasonably strong and gusty winds.

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“Please make sure to plan your journeys in advance by keeping in contact with the forecast.  

“We are likely to see some trees down due to the saturated soils and strong winds. There will be dangerous conditions at sea too, coupled with wave overtopping and coastal flooding in some areas.”

And experts have issued major flooding alerts on ALL coasts because Storm Kathleen will increase water levels as we approach a period of spring tides.

Met Eireann forecasters said: “This will result in strong coastal winds, a rough sea state and significant waves. Coastal flooding and wave overtopping is likely, especially at times of high tide.

“The rain associated with Storm Kathleen will fall on already saturated ground, therefore water will make its way quickly into the rivers.

“Cumulative rainfall totals could lead to elevated river levels in western and southwestern areas.”

Carlow Weather’s Alan added: “Some big seas associated with Storm Kathleen Saturday also with risk of coastal flooding.

“Don’t park in Salthill car park or others that are prone to flooding!”

And Met Eireann’s Aoife Kealy said: “We are looking at a few unsettled days ahead. Today and tomorrow there will be some rain and showers at times, with some blustery conditions too. On Saturday, it’s going to turn even windier.

“That’s going to lead to very difficult travel conditions, coastal flooding, some power outages and so on.

“It is going to be a very unsettled day on Saturday, a bit of care needed if you’re out and about, especially in those south-western and western counties.”

WHY IS THE STORM CALLED KATHLEEN?

Storm Kathleen is named after Kathleen Kay Antonelli/McNulty and Kathleen Lonsdale.

It’s one of the seven names Met Eireann chose for the 2023-24 storm names list, with the Irish weather chiefs choosing eminent Irish/Northern-Irish scientists to honour their important contributions to science and the benefits for humankind.

Kathleen ‘Kay’ McNulty Mauchly Antonelli: one of the mothers of computer programming.

  • Kay was an Irish computer programmer, and one of the six original programmers on the ENIAC machine, which was one of the first general purpose electronic digital computers.
  • In 2017, DCU honoured Kay by naming their computer science building in her name.
  • The Irish-Centre for High-End Computing also honoured her in 2019 when they named their new supercomputer Kay following a public vote whereby Kathleen beat out other candidates including Francis Beaufort and Nicholas Callan.

Kathleen Lonsdale: Irish crystallographer who demonstrated the crystal structure of benzene.

  • She was the first to use Fourier spectral methods while solving the structure of hexachlorobenzene in 1931
  • She was also one of the first two women inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1945 alongside Marjory Stephenson, a British biochemist.

The Met Office in the UK has also issued a yellow wind warning for Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry from 8am on Saturday through to 10pm.

They warned: “A deep area of low pressure will bring a spell of very windy weather to western areas this weekend.”

Before the double storm hell, widespread rain is set to clear northwards overnight on Thursday which will be followed by scattered showers and some clear spells in the south.

Friday will be a mostly cloudy and blustery day, with showers to begin followed by more persistent rain but will clear northwards by the evening.

The rain is here to stay for Friday night as it’s set to spread to the north of the country, where it’s set to be heavy at times with the possibility of flooding.

Saturday’s storm forecast currently states: “Saturday morning will be very windy with strong, gusty southerly winds and widespread showers, some heavy.

“Winds will ease somewhat in the afternoon, but will continue fresh to strong and gusty in highest temperatures of 13C to 15C.

“Saturday night will bring clear spells and scattered blustery showers. Lowest temperatures of 6 to 8 degrees with fresh, gusty southwest winds.”

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