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File image of two lone figures with umbrellas in Dublin caught in a rain storm. Dublin will be subject to a rain warning from 5pm this evening. Alamy Stock Photo
storm betty

Status Orange warning for seven counties with gusts of 130km/h and spot flooding expected

Met Éireann has issued three Status Yellow warnings for later today.

LAST UPDATE | 18 Aug 2023

A STATUS ORANGE weather warning has been issued for seven counties, with Status Yellow warnings to come into effect for all other counties today as Storm Betty hits Ireland. 

The Status Orange wind and rainfall warning has been issued for Carlow, Cork, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, and Wicklow.

The Status Orange rain warning is already in effect in these six counties and is valid until 11pm tonight. 

The Status Orange wind warning meanwhile is in place from 9pm tonight until 3am.

Met Éireann has warned that the storm will bring gusts of up to 130km/h. 

It has also warned that there is a possibility of structural damage, falling trees, travel disruption, power outages, localised flooding and wave overtopping. 

Three other alerts will also come into force today, with Met Éireann bringing forward the starting time for the alerts in some counties.

The first is a Status Yellow rain warning for Clare, Kerry, Limerick, and Galway.

This warning is in effect now until 3am on Saturday morning, with Met Éireann forecasting heavy rain with thundery downpours today and overnight.

There is also a warning for spot flooding, as well as difficult travelling conditions.

The second Status Yellow rain warning comes into effect at 3pm for Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo.

This warning is in place until 6am tomorrow morning and Met Éireann said alongside heavy rain with thundery downpours, there will also be strong winds at times along eastern facing coasts.

Finally, a Status Yellow wind warning for all of Leinster and Munster will be in place from 9pm tonight until 6am tomorrow morning. Met Éireann has advised that it will become very windy with southeast winds, gusting up to 110km/h.

Potential impacts could include damage to temporary structures, travel disruptions, power outages, and wave overtopping. 

A Status Red marine storm warning has been issued from Carnsore Point to Dungarvan to Mizen Head from 9pm tonight until 3am.

A Status Orange marine storm warning will be in effect from 9pm to 4am from Wicklow Head to Carnsore Point and on the Irish Sea South of Anglesey, and a Status Yellow marine gale warning comes into affect at 6.30pm until noon tomorrow for all coasts and the Irish sea.

A rainfall warning was also issued across most of Northern Ireland and is valid from 9pm until 6am tomorrow morning.

A Status Yellow wind warning will impact parts of counties Antrim and Down, with the wind alert in place from 6pm this evening until 12 noon tomorrow.

Dublin Fire Brigade has warned of the likelihood of spot flooding, difficult travel conditions and waves overtopping on coasts.

The fire service has asked the public to avoid walking near coastal areas and for drivers to reduce their speed.

The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management’s (NDFEM) crisis management team has been liaising with Met Éireann regarding the forecasted storm. 

A Met Éireann briefing was held today and all local authority severe weather assessment teams, Government departments and agencies attended in preparation for the storm. 

The NDFEM said that “this is a dynamic storm system, intensified by the jet stream leading to some uncertainty as to the potential track and intensity” of Storm Betty. 

Warning to public

The public are being advised to monitor Met Éireann forecasts during the period of the storm.

In areas affected, the NDFEM is warning of the following: 

  • High seas – the public are advised to stay away from coastal areas during this period. The Irish Coast Guard are appealing to people to “Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry”.
  • There is a potential for tidal flooding in coastal areas, especially in southern and eastern counties. In addition to this, the storm may also bring localised heavy showers, which in turn may lead to surface flooding in urban locations.
  • People should be extra vigilant and aware of the risk potentially posed by trees in high wind events. The most widespread and potentially dangerous consequence of high wind is the risk of trees breaking/falling, possibly bringing down live power lines, posing a danger to motorists and pedestrians in the vicinity.
  • People are advised to prepare for the arrival of the storm including ensuring their mobile phone is fully charged to enable communication.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising road users to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey. 

Road users in areas affected by Orange weather warnings are being asked to considering postponing their journeys until conditions improve. 

Motorists are also being advised of the following: 

  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds, especially on exposed routes such as dual carriageways and motorways. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Beware of objects being blown onto the road. Expect road conditions to change quickly in high winds so reduce your speed.
  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
  • Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, including those cycle and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
  • Drivers need to slow down in wet weather conditions, to avoid the risk of aquaplaning.
  • Drivers should also leave a bigger gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.
  • If the road ahead is flooded, choose another route. Do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think. They may also have trees or branches that have fallen that may not be visible.
  • Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.
  • After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes.
  • Be safe, Be seen – drive with dipped headlights at all times.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are being warned that visibility and light is reduced in poor weather conditions, so they should wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt. 

They are being asked to take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions. 

Pedestrians are being asked to walk on a footpath where possible and not in the street. They are also being asked to walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths. 

Cyclists should ensure that they and their bike are visible by checking the front and rear lights on the bike are in good working order and by wearing bright clothing and light reflective items. 

The Irish Coast Guard has strongly advises people who are planning any water-based or coastal activities to check the weather carefully and consider if the conditions are suitable.

“Strong winds can result in relatively rough seas resulting in perilous sea conditions which could be challenging for water-based actives this weekend,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

“The general advice from the Coast Guard in stormy conditions is to stay back from cliffs and exposed coastal areas and piers where breaking waves can be hazardous.”

With reporting by Hayley Halpin and Lauren Boland

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