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Forecasters warn Storm Helene could bring hazardous conditions when it sweeps across the Republic

Forecasters have downgraded warnings that Storm Helene could pose a risk to life when it hits this week, but warned coastal communities to stay vigilant. Picture by Ben Birchall/PA Wire

FORECASTERS have warned that Storm Helene could bring hazardous conditions when it sweeps across the Republic this week.

While the Met Office downgraded warnings that the storm could pose a risk to life when it hits, it said coastal communities should stay vigilant.

The north of England and Wales are also among the areas where the storm is set to strike, but forecasters said the majority of Helene's strong winds were now predicted to spend themselves over the Irish Sea overnight last night and into this morning.

A Met Office spokesman said Helene could fell a few trees, which could bring disruption to transport links, but did not think it would reach the 70mph winds originally predicted.

Devon and Cornwall, parts of Wales and Co Down as well as Northumbria, Cumbria and parts of Yorkshire in north of England are likely to see strong winds.

Those in coastal areas are warned to be wary of large waves hitting the seafront.

"Helene is still over the Atlantic but it's weakening and we're a lot more confident of what's going to happen," the spokesman said.

"The centre of the storm will go up through the middle of Ireland and most of the strong winds will be in the Irish sea and to the west of Scotland."

A yellow warning remains in place but the storm is not thought to pose a risk to life.

"There is not a danger to life, but we are just saying be prepared for it be very windy for a while," he added.

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