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Status Orange wind warning for two counties as west to be hit with gusts of up to 120km/h

A Status Yellow wind warning is currently in place for the rest of Ireland.

Image: windy.com

Updated Dec 18th 2019, 11:12 PM

A STATUS ORANGE WIND warning has been issued for two counties. 

The warning has been issued for Galway and Mayo. It kicked in at 9pm and will remain valid until 1am. 

Met Éireann has warned that strong southerly winds, veering southwest will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h, with gusts of up to 120km/h for a short period. 

Earlier, a Status Orange wind warning was also in place for Cork between 6pm and 9pm. 

A Status Yellow wind warning is currently in place for the rest of Ireland. This will remain in place until 3am. 

There will be southeast winds, later veering southerly with gusts of between 90 and 110km.

Met Éireann has warned that winds will peak this evening and tonight and that stronger wins are possible in west and southwest coastal areas.

The Salthill in Galway city appears to be one of the worst hit areas this evening, as a storm surge flooded the popular coastal area.

Social media footage captured cars being swamped with water as waves pounded the area during high tide.

Sameh Mohamed, a Galway resident who was caught in the storms, said some of the owners of the vehicles rushed to retrieve them, but said some “are just stuck now”.

The area was closed off by the authorities when the flooding started.

Tweet by @Hector Source: Hector/Twitter

Galway County Council warned residents to “stay indoors”.

“Do not venture outdoors unless absolutely necessary,” the council tweeted.

“Advice is not to venture out. Wind and rain making Salthill area and along coasts treacherous. Trees and debris on many roads. Stay safe!”

The winds are expected to decrease later tonight. Showery rain will gradually clear northwards, with clear spells and isolated showers following. 

Lowest temperatures will range between 4 and 8 degrees tonight. 

Scattered showers are forecast in the south tomorrow morning. However, Met Érieann has said it will be otherwise dry at first with bright or sunny spells. 

Outbreaks of rain are expected to move northwards, turning heavy and possibly prolonged in central and eastern areas later in the day. 

Warning to motorists

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads today in light of the weather warnings. 

The following advise has been issued to motorists: 

  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong crosswinds. 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 allow between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.
  • Motorists should also be aware that cyclists may need more road space than normal due to flooding, fallen debris and wind gusts. Give them plenty of space to navigate any obstacles that may be in front of them
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
  • 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.

In areas affected by the Status Orange warning, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are being asked to consider delaying or cancelling any planned trips. 

Elsewhere, they are being asked to wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective band. 

They are being warned to take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow them onto the path of an oncoming vehicle. 

The RSA is also advising: 

  • Walk on a footpath where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas. 
  • Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths. 
  • Cyclists should ensure that they and their bikes are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back) and by wearing clothes that help them be seen of their bike. 

With reporting by Dominic McGrath and Press Association

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