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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019
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'A significant risk to life': Storm Ophelia could have a 'sting jet' with winds of 100km/h

Sting jets get their named from the ‘sting in the tail’ of clouds.

Source: Met Office - Learn About Weather/YouTube

THE MOST POWERFUL storm to hit Ireland in 50 years is closing in on the country and it’s being reported that the storm has developed a ‘sting jet’ – bringing winds of up to 100km/h.

The storm was downgraded from a hurricane in the early hours of this morning, but forecasters are still warning that it will be the most severe weather event to hit the country in over 50 years, and people are being urged to avoid all non-essential travel.

The latest satellite imagery of Storm Ophelia shows what looks to be a developing sting jet on the southeast side the storm, according to meteorologists.

A sting jet is a meteorological phenomenon associated with rapidly developing mid-latitude storms.

The last time a sting jet touched down in Ireland and the UK was 30 years ago to this day during the Great Storm of 1987. It brought with it winds of 115 km/h.

Sting jets get their named from the ‘sting in the tail’ of clouds that is produced as a storm wraps around the centre of an area of low pressure, according to the UK’s Met Office.

A sting jet is usually the most damaging winds of a storm, sometimes reaching speeds of over 100 km/h.

A sting jet will start three or four kilometres above the ground and descends over three or four hours.

“Although the strongest winds occur for only a short period of time in a very small area, perhaps only thirty miles across, they can cause significant damage and risk to life,” the Met Office said.

Speaking to the TheJournal.ie a forecaster from Met Eireann said:

It’s likely to hit the west coast, probably the Galway and Connacht area. The winds will become cyclonic and then westerly, whereas the strongest sustained winds will be along the side coasts, coming into Cork now.

Read: LIVE: ‘A matter of life and death’ – Updates as Storm Ophelia rips through Munster

More: Travel main points: Several train, bus and Luas services suspended

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