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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 24 January, 2020

Sting in the tail: Katia to bring 160km/h winds to Ireland

Hurricane Katia is set to hit Ireland on Sunday night, with the north-west set to face winds of up to 100 miles an hour.

This photo, taken by astronaut Ron Garan aboard the international space station, shows the size of Hurricane Katia as it clears North America and heads on its way to Europe.
This photo, taken by astronaut Ron Garan aboard the international space station, shows the size of Hurricane Katia as it clears North America and heads on its way to Europe.
Image: Ron Garan via Twitter

IRELAND COULD FACE storm winds of up to 160 kilometres an hour later this weekend, when the tail end of Hurricane Katia makes its way to these shores.

The hurricane – which is currently leaving North America after hitting Bermuda in recent days – is set to make landfall here on Sunday evening, with winds potentially reaching a peak speed equivalent to 100mph.

Counties along the Atlantic coast of Connacht and Ulster are set to bear the brunt of the storm across Sunday evening and Monday morning, while inland and easterly counties will also see some impact later on Monday before the storm travels onward to Britain.

The Category One storm – which officially counts as a hurricane given wind speeds of over 117km/h (72.7mph) – is causing such alarm that the UK’s Met Office has issued a storm warning effectively covering all of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of England for Monday when the storm reaches its peak.

The UK’s warning also applies to much of Ireland, with only western Munster, Galway and Mayo outside the area covered by the warning by that time – though those areas will already have seen the worst of the storm pass by that time.

“There remains some uncertainty about its track and intensity, though [there are] increasing indications that Scotland and Northern Ireland are most likely to bear the brunt,” the UK’s Met Office said.

“The public should be aware of the risk of disruption to transport and of the possibility of damage to trees and structures.”

Met Éireann warned of very high waves on the western, northern and north-western coasts on Monday, advising that waves could reach up to 10m in height.

Irish Weather Online’s senior forecaster Peter O’Donnell said an advance alert was arranged from coastal regions between Clare and Donegal, but warned that people farther east and south should cross their fingers, “because this will not be a non-event”.

“There will almost definitely be widespread gusts near 50 knots from this, and with trees in full leaf and somewhat saturated ground conditions, trees can rather easily come down in such winds.

“Bottom line is this — if you live in Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Derry, north Antrim or nearby parts of other counties, and not in some deep valley… you should expect storm or hurricane force wind gusts between 6am and 3pm on Monday.”

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Gavan Reilly

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