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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 18 June, 2018
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Heading home for Christmas? Here's everything you need to know about Storm Barbara

There are reports of trees down on some routes, and flights are delayed at all the main airports.

WE’VE BEEN ENDURING some particularly miserable weather this afternoon – but so far Storm Barbara’s not been as fierce as feared.

The centre of the storm system has been tracking closer to Iceland – but a ‘status orange’ weather warning remains in place here.

Winds gusting up to 120km were forecast for this afternoon. Conditions are set to ease this evening, and it will become less windy overnight, Met Éireann says.

Meantime, AA Roadwatch says we can expect a busy period on the roads before things die down again after around 4pm.

As we hurtle inexorably towards Christmas weekend, here’s everything you need to know on the planes, trains and automobiles front (also, ferries).

met1 Source: Earth Wind Map

PLANES

Dublin Airport is warning of some flight delays this afternoon, due to the high winds. It’s the busiest day of the year at the airport – with officials expecting 83,000 passengers.

Several flights have been delayed from taking off for between one and two hours, according to the latest information from the airport’s departures page. Arrivals have also been delayed by an hour or two.

There are also delays at Cork Airport this afternoon. In addition to delayed take-offs and landings at Shannon, a number of flights have been diverted to the Co Clare airport.

Tweet by @Shannon Airport Source: Shannon Airport/Twitter

TRAINS

Services are resuming between Howth Junction and Howth after high winds caused damage to overhead lines and level crossing gates earlier.

Irish Rail isn’t experiencing any other problems – but the company is reminding people its Christmas schedule kicks in tomorrow, with services ending early tomorrow night.

There will be no trains on Christmas Day or on St Stephen’s Day.

Tweet by @Iarnród Éireann Source: Iarnród Éireann/Twitter

AUTOMOBILES

There are reports of trees down and debris on the roads on a number of routes this afternoon.

In Dublin, AA Roadwatch is reporting heavy traffic inbound on routes like Harold’s Cross Road, Aungier Street and Ranelagh Road, and it’s also busy outbound through Drumcondra.

In a forecast, issued at the start of the week, the traffic service said that levels should build today from around 1pm “as those leaving city centres around the country make their way home for Christmas before traffic starts to die down again after approximately 4pm”.

Tweet by @Pat O'Keeffe Source: Pat O'Keeffe/Twitter

The Road Safety Authority, meanwhile, has advised road users to exercise caution and to check local weather and traffic conditions before setting out on a trip.

  • Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected. Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
  • Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times
  • Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm
  • It takes longer to stop in wet conditions so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front
  • Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility
  • Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/h

Tweet by @Patrick Mooney Source: Patrick Mooney/Twitter

FERRIES

Irish Ferries has cancelled three sailings from Dublin to Holyhead today – the fast-craft Swift sailings at 8.45am and 2.30pm, and the 10.45am Oscar Wilde ferry service. Three sailings in the other direction are also cancelled.

Stena’s Dublin-Holyhead services are running – but the ferry service has issued the following advisory about sailings for the rest of the day and tomorrow, and asked that customers keep themselves updated on the status of their trip.

Winter Storm Barbara is set to bring wet and windy conditions to the UK. Unfortunately this may cause disruption to some of our scheduled sailings this Friday and Saturday.

Rosslare-Fishguard sailings are unaffected, with both of today’s sailings leaving on time.

Tweet by @Dublin Fire Brigade Source: Dublin Fire Brigade/Twitter

CHRISTMAS WEATHER 

The forecast for Christmas Eve (tomorrow) is for showers in the morning, with heavier outbreaks of rain moving in from the west later, bringing blustery conditions.

It will stay very windy with patchy rain and drizzle on Christmas Day. Winds will be strongest on west and northwest coasts, according to Met Éireann.

Read: Poultry owners warned to keep their birds indoors >

Read: Shane Ross outlines his department’s plans – but no mention of gender quotas for sports boards >

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