Storm Betty wind and rain warnings issued across island of Ireland

Rain and wind warnings have been issued as Storm Betty approaches the island of Ireland (Brian Lawless/PA)
Rain and wind warnings have been issued as Storm Betty approaches the island of Ireland (Brian Lawless/PA)

Storm Betty has the potential to bring strong winds and rain as well as the threat of flooding across the island of Ireland, according to the Government’s national weather emergency team.

Government departments and agencies as well as every local authority attended a briefing from Irish weather agency Met Eireann which outlined that current forecasts suggest Storm Betty will move southwest to northeast across the Republic of Ireland from this afternoon to Saturday morning.

The Republic's National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) said this could potentially bring “strong winds, rain and the threat of coastal, pluvial and fluvial flooding”.

The NDFEM said in a statement: “Storm Betty is forecast to bring high winds, particularly across the Southern areas. Rainfall levels of 40mm could be experienced across the country with the potential for over 60mm in some areas.

“This is a dynamic storm system, intensified by the jet stream leading to some uncertainty as to the potential track and intensity of Storm Betty.”

A Status Orange rain warning has come into effect for seven counties in the Republic of Ireland due to the storm which is forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds as it sweeps across the island.

Irish forecaster Met Eireann had upgraded its Status Orange rain warning for seven counties, which has now come into effect for Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford.

The alert is in place until 11pm tonight.

The forecaster has warned that the weather conditions could lead to localised flooding, difficult travelling conditions and wave overtopping along coasts.

A Status Orange wind warning for the same seven counties comes into effect from 9pm until 3am tomorrow, with severe gusts of up to 130 km/hr and possible coastal flooding expected.

This could lead to structural damage, falling trees, travel disruption, power outages, and localised flooding, according to Met Eireann.

Three Status Yellow warnings for wind and rain are in place for the rest of the Republic from Friday afternoon, and which will remain in place until 3-6am on Saturday.

The stormy weather brings the risk of thundery downpours on Friday, as well as strong winds along eastern-facing coasts.

There is also a Status Red storm warning for the southern coast.

The weather agency said south to southeast winds, veering southwesterly, will reach storm force 10 and occasionally violent storm force 11 for a time on Irish coastal waters from Carnsore Point to Dungarvan to Mizen Head.

Met Eireann forecaster Matthew Martin said that the deeply low weather system would bring “heavy and persistent rain” spreading from the south of the island on Friday afternoon, and there would be a continuing threat of flooding in the evening.

In Northern Ireland, a status yellow rain warning is in place from 9pm until 6am tomorrow, risking further disruption.

The Met Office has also issued a wind warning for counties Antrim and Down, in place from 6pm until noon tomorrow, which brings a risk of strong winds that could disrupt transport and temporary infrastructure.

The weather is expected to stay mixed for the rest of the weekend.

(PA Graphics)