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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018
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Storm Callum is due to hit Ireland tonight with high winds ... here's everything you need to know

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for coastal counties and will come into effect from tonight.

Updated Oct 11th 2018, 7:46 AM

A STATUS ORANGE weather alert has been issued for coastal counties and will come into effect from tonight. 

The weather front has officially been named as Storm Callum and will bring gusts of up to 110 to 130 km/h along Irish coasts.

Met Éireann issued an update to the forecast yesterday evening. A Status Orange wind warning will be in place from 10pm tonight for Cork and Kerry. It will remain in place until 9am tomorrow morning. 

The Status Orange wind warning will take effect two hours later at 12.01am in the counties of Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Clare Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath and Waterford.

The wind warning for Donegal, Mayo, Sligo and Clare will remain in place until 1pm tomorrow afternoon, while the warning for Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath and Waterford will remain in place until 9am tomorrow morning. 

A Status Yellow warning is in place for the rest of the counties, and is in place from 12.01am on Friday.

Winds will become strongest overnight with conditions reaching strong gale force or storm force along the coast with severe or possibly damaging gusts, according to Met Éireann. 

There will be rain as well later in the night. Combined with the storming winds and high tides, coastal flooding is likely. 

Storm preparations

Storm Callum comes less than a month after Storm Ali, which caused major damage, leaving thousands without power across the country, two people dead and travel severely disrupted. Storm Bronagh came just a couple of days later, bringing heavy rain across the country. 

Dublin Fire Brigade has advised the public to stock up on batteries or charge them “should there be a fault in electricity during Storm Callum”. 

It has also asked the public to “ensure drains around your home are clear of leaves to avoid spot flooding entering your home”. 

“Trees in full leaf will suffer worse in strong winds,” it said. 

The Department of Housing has confirmed that its National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management Severe Weather Team has been monitoring the forecast for the coming days with Met Éireann and the OPW. 

“The Department, in its role as lead government department for severe weather and flooding, will continue to monitor this developing situation with Met Éireann and OPW and will make a decision [this morning] whether it is necessary to convene a National Emergency Coordination Group to support local coordination arrangements,” it said. 

Meanwhile, Fingal County Council Fingal County Council has said that it will distribute sandbags tomorrow to areas along the coast where flooding might occur.

Other local councils are making similar preparations.

Wexford County Council’s crisis management team is also due to meet this morning to review preparations for Storm Callum. 

Warning to drivers

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads tonight and tomorrow morning. 

Drivers are advised to never attempt to drive through flooded roads and to heed any warnings or detours local authorities or gardaí may have in place. 

The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip. 

It has issued the following advice for road users:

  • Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong crosswinds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists.
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times.

When it comes to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, the RSA is advising that they wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt. 

“Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extreme windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle,” it said. 

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