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Waves hitting Tragumna in west Cork during Storm Isha in January Alamy Stock Photo
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Storm Kathleen: Flooding and strong winds expected with Status Orange warning for five counties

Met Éireann said the storm will bring gale force southerly winds, with some severe and damaging gusts.

LAST UPDATE | 5 Apr

A STATUS ORANGE wind warning will be in place for five counties tomorrow as Storm Kathleen is set to hit Ireland.

Met Éireann said the storm will bring gale force southerly winds, with some severe and damaging gusts.

This could potentially result in very difficult travel conditions, fallen trees, some power outages, coastal flooding and wave overtopping.

The Status Orange alert will come into effect for counties Cork, Kerry, and Waterford at 7am tomorrow morning and remain in place until 2pm.

Counties Galway and Mayo will also come under a Status Orange alert, from 9am tomorrow morning until 6pm tomorrow evening.

A Status Yellow wind warning will also be in place for the rest of the Republic of Ireland from 5am to 8pm tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Met Office has issued a Yellow wind warning for all of Northern Ireland, which will be in place between 8am and 10pm tomorrow. 

Met Éireann said the storm could lead to some fallen trees, difficult travel conditions, displaced debris and loose objects, and some coastal flooding in the rest of the country. 

“Storm Kathleen is a significant low-pressure system tracking off the west coast which will bring strong southerly winds and damaging gusts across the country on Saturday,” Met Éireann said. 

Met Éireann and the crisis management team of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) had technical briefing this morning to assess possible impacts from Storm Kathleen.

Following this meeting, it was noted that Storm Kathleen is a “dynamic system so there may be updates to the warnings”.

Keith Leonard, National Director of the NDFEM, told RTÉ’s News at One that the storm “might take people unawares” and urged people to stay clear from all coastal areas.

Leonard said it was “unusual” for the team to be meeting in April.

He added that the track of the storm could change and that people need to be careful when undertaking journeys tomorrow, and warned of a possibility of flooding. 

However, speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, Met Éireann’s Deputy head of forecasting Liz Coleman said it is unlikely that other counties will be updated to Orange alerts.

However, she said there will be “a stong Yellow event across the country” and that during the morning and early part of the afternoon, “a lot of the country will be seeing some very strong winds”. 

She also encouraged motorists to take care as they “may not be expecting such unseasonably strong and gusty winds”.

She encouraged people to plan their journeys in advance and to keep an eye on the forecast.

“We are likely to see some trees down due to the saturated soils and strong winds. There will be dangerous conditions at sea too, coupled with wave overtopping and coastal flooding in some areas,” she said.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has paused all non-essential farm inspections until 22 April, while adverse weather conditions persist.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan warned that coastal areas are particularly at risk and noted that further heavy rain is expected early next week.

O’Donovan said recent rain has been “beyond despairing” for farmers and hit out at “climate deniers in the Dáil”. 

“This is not made up, and we know that climate change had a big impact on the Midleton flood experience,” said O’Donovan.

“Some people in the Oireachtas need to start treating this with more haste and stop using it as a political scoreboard against the government.”

Cork County Council has also issued advice ahead of the storm after a meeting of its severe weather assessment team.

“Members of the public are advised to stay high, stay dry and stay away from the coast, rivers and lakes.  With strong gusts and high waves predicted, people are urged to refrain from visiting coastal areas,” the Council said in a statement.

The Dursey Cable Car, which connects Dursey Island to the West Cork mainland, will not be running on Saturday and service will resume once wind speeds have died down sufficiently, the Council said.

The council encouraged people to check its website for updates and to contact it with information on flooding and fallen trees.

Forecast

Looking at today’s forecast, Met Éireann has said it will be a cloudy and rather blustery day with scattered showers throughout. 

Some sunny spells will develop this afternoon as the showers become more isolated. 

The isolated showers are due to slowly clear away but it will become rather overcast this evening. 

Fresh to gusty winds are expected  to strengthen as rain spreads over the country tonight, heavy at times. 

It will become very windy tomorrow morning as Storm Kathleen tracks north over Ireland’s Atlantic coast.

With reporting by Jane Moore and Diarmuid Pepper

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