The National Directorate for Fire & Emergency Management Crisis Management Team have been liaising with Met Éireann in regards to the outlook for the week ahead including Storm Ciara and have advised as follows:
The weather is expected to deteriorate from today Friday 7th February with an Atlantic system moving in across the country bringing scattered showers of rain or drizzle with a spell of more persistent and at times heavy rain moving into the south and west in the afternoon, becoming widespread in the evening. Fresh to strong and gusty south to southeast winds with gales along some coasts can be expected.
After a mostly dry start on Saturday morning, heavy rain and strong and gusty southerly winds will move eastwards over the country bringing a risk of very strong squally winds, with gales along all coasts and strong gale force winds along the northwest coast. The winds will be accompanied by heavy rain country wide with it possibly lingering into the evening in parts of Leinster and Munster. Possible rainfall amounts of between 20-40mm predicted in the 24 hour period from Saturday morning. The highest rainfall is expected in the Northwest and on high ground. Winds will ease in the west and north, but continue very strong in the east and south.
• Met Éireann has issued a Yellow wind advisory for the country in effect from 09.00 on Saturday 8th February until Sunday 23.59, there is also a Yellow advisory for rainfall in effect from Saturday 8th February at 12.00 until 15.00 on Sunday 9th February.
• An Orange wind warning is also in place for Galway in effect from 13:00 Sat, 08-Feb-2020 until 18:00 Sat, 08-Feb-2020.
• An Orange wind warning is also in affect from 12:00 Sat, 08-Feb-2020 until 16:00 Sat, 08-Feb-2020 for Donegal and Mayo
On Sunday Storm Ciara tracks to the north of the country and current models indicate Yellow level wind warnings country wide due to very strong to near gale force and gusty south to southwest winds (This is under constant review as the track of the Storm becomes more certain and may escalate to Orange levels). The winds will be accompanied by a period of heavy rain clearing quickly to squally wintry showers, with Yellow level rainfall warnings in effect, with 20-40mm expected. Highest rainfall amounts predicted for the North West and high ground. The rain will clear to showers and squally westerly winds later in the day, with a risk of some hail and thunder.
The OPW have advised that there will be a period of very high astronomical Spring Tides approaching Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) in all coastal areas, commencing tomorrow Saturday 8th until Thursday 13th February 2020. Astronomical tides during this notice period will be highest from Sunday 12th to Thursday 13th February, particular concern surrounding the Sunday 10th February morning tides on all coastal areas. There are high sea levels indicated with high wave activity predicted on all coasts during this period with concern regarding the surge heights predicted to be between 0.7 and 1.0 and possibly above.
Note: Wave effects are not included in this forecasting service from the OPW, which over short periods of time, can cause localised water levels to be elevated above those forecast (due to wave set-up). Users should therefore make their own allowances for any such wave effects based on other relevant sources of information, local experience and observations.
It is too soon to accurately forecast the surge conditions that will occur thereafter (from Monday 10th February) and you are therefore advised to monitor closely storm surge and sea level forecasts throughout this notice period (Saturday 8th until Thursday 13th February).
The OPW have advised that all coastal flood defences should be activated, especially along the West coast during this period with a 10-20% above high flood level possible.
Although most river catchments are low, with the exception of some catchments in the North West of the country, it is expected that the smaller catchments may react quickly to the weekend rainfall predicted giving the possibility of localised flooding. The forecast for the week is currently demonstrating a period of unsettled weather, with more rainfall predicted.
Outlook for the week ahead from Monday 10th February
Met Éireanns forecast for next week is currently showing that a low pressure system will move across from the west bringing a significant drop in temperatures on Monday, with day time temperatures possibly not getting above freezing in some parts. This cold period will bring showers of sleet/ snow with the possibility of strong winds, with accumulations possible in the North and West but snow falls could push further east. Exact timing and predictions regarding any possible snow will become more certain over the weekend,