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Storm Arwen: Winds pick up speed as weather warnings to come into effect

Wind warnings have been issued for nine counties, while the parts of England and Scotland have been upgraded to a rare red warning.

LAST UPDATE | 26 Nov 2021

STORM ARWEN IS bringing strong winds to Ireland today as Met Éireann warns of a risk of high seas and toppled trees.

The forecaster has issued Status Yellow wind warnings for Donegal, Mayo, and Sligo, while the UK Met Office has done the same for all of Northern Ireland.

There’ll be cold, windy and showery weather for the rest of the day, it said, with sleet and snow on high land.

At noon today, there were rain showers recorded at the weather stations in Belmullet, Finner, Gurteen, Knock and Sherkin Island, with recent rain, clouds, and drizzles recorded elsewhere around the country.

In the UK, the Met Office has upgraded its warning to a red alert for parts of Scotland and the north of England.

Starting in the afternoon and continuing in the evening and night, northerly winds are expected to reach average speeds of 45 to 65km per hour with gusts of 90 to 110km per hour.

Along north facing costs and on the Inishowen Peninsula, “significantly higher” gusts are forecasted. 

In Donegal, the Status Yellow warning comes into effect this afternoon at 3pm and lifts tomorrow at 6am. 

The warning in Mayo and Sligo is set to ease slightly earlier at 5am.

In Northern Ireland, the UK Met Office has imposed a Yellow wind warning from 9am this morning until midnight and is cautioning that high winds could bring some travel disruption and damage.

Two marine warnings preempt northern or strong gales on coasts from Fair Head to Carlingford Lough to Carnsore Point on the Irish Sea (Status Orange); and for all coasts and on the Irish sea (Status Yellow).

In a statement yesterday, Met Éireann meteorologist Elizabeth Coleman said today will be “cold and very windy”.

“Gale to strong gale force winds are forecast along north facing coasts, generating large coastal waves and spray overtopping,” Coleman said.

She warned that strong northerly winds over land in the north and northwest could bring down some trees and power lines. 

“This system will generate high seas too, in the north and west through Friday, with the storm force winds and high seas transferring to the Irish Sea on Friday night.

In the UK, the Met Office has issued a rare red warning for parts of north-east England and Scotland, cautioning that flying debris leading to injuries or danger to life is likely.

The warning, which is the maximum issued by the Met Office, indicates that the impact is likely to be high. 

The red alert warns of the potential for damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down. 

The alert warns people in the zone of the potential of “roads, bridges, and railway lines closed, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights” and of “large waves and beach material being thrown on to coastal roads, sea fronts and homes”. 

Earlier, UK Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon told the PA news agency that the worst-affected areas will “predominantly be on the coasts, with gusts of over 75mph bringing possible disruption to travel and longer journey times, power cuts, flying debris and large waves, with beach material being thrown around”.

Storm Arwen is moving in from the North Sea and will travel south before easing on Sunday, he said.

With reporting by Press Association

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