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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 25 April, 2018
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Travel warnings issued, ferries cancelled as ‘vigorous’ storm set to pass overnight

Gusts of up to 130km are forecast, as the severe weather system passes to the northwest of the country.

Stormy weather off Dun Laoghaire last March
Stormy weather off Dun Laoghaire last March
Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated at 10.46pm

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority is advising drivers to proceed with extreme care tonight, following Met Éireann’s have issued a preliminary warning that a vigorous Atlantic storm depression is forecast to pass just northwest of the country overnight.

The weather service has issued an ‘orange alert’ — taking effect from 9pm this evening, and concluding at 6pm tomorrow. While exact track of the storm is still not certain, the system is likely to bring some strong winds — there’s warnings of gusts of up to 130km, with the winds strongest in coastal counties.

Here’s the outlook for tonight, according the latest update from Met Éireann:

Winds will increase further tonight and it will turn cold. Showers will become increasingly wintry with falls of hail, sleet or snow, possibly giving icy conditions on some roads.

Lowest temperatures of -1 to +2 degrees. Southwest winds will increase strong to gale force overnight with storm force winds on west coasts.

The RSA is urging drivers to be on the lookout for fallen debris on the roads, and for other vehicles swerving to avoid obstructions.

Here’s the other main points of advice from the authority:

  • Notify the Gardaí about fallen debris on the roadway. NEVER stop on a motorway to remove debris.
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles, motorcyclists and cyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Use your dipped headlights so that others will see you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are all in working order, replace broken bulbs.
  • Watch out for ‘black ice’, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.

Ferries

Several ferry crossings were cancelled today as a result of the weather. Irish Ferries has also taken the precautionary step of cancelling sailings of the ‘Swift’ service tomorrow, Christmas Eve. All passengers are being accommodated on the larger ‘Cruise’ vessel. Sailings between Rosslare and Pembroke for tomorrow are also off.

Stena Line has cancelled its 2.15am and 8.20am sailings from Dublin Port. The company’s warning that later sailings tomorrow may also be subject to delays. Sailings from Rosslare to Fishguard for tomorrow have also been cancelled.

There are no reports of any serious flight cancellations or delays.

Outlook

The windy weather is set to continue into tomorrow morning, with further showers of rain and sleet forecast, turning to snow on higher ground. Christmas Day is set to be cold and bright, with some weak winter sunshine.

According to Met Éireann, there’s indications that the stormy conditions will return by Friday, with more widespread heavy rain and spot flooding on the cards.

Additional reporting, Daragh Brophy

Originally posted at 7.40am

Read: White Christmas? Snow reported in parts of Ireland today>

Read: About 9,500 homes lost power as wild weather wreaks havoc on Christmas plans>

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