3 warnings in place as Storm Hannah looms

Weather warnings dominate conditions over the next day or so ahead of the coming weekend, with Storm Hannah approaching the country, according to Met Éireann.

The national meteorological office told RTÉ this morning that it may review its warnings with a view to increase the status if required.

The storm will hit the south and south-west of the country hardest, with two Status Orange wind warnings issued for these regions. The first of these will encompass counties Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick, coming into effect from 4:00pm this afternoon, Friday, April 26, through to tomorrow morning at 5:00am.

Southerly winds, later veering northwesterly will reach mean speeds of 65-80kph with gusts of 110 to 130kph.

Meanwhile, a second Status Orange alert, issued at 4:00am this morning, will come into effect for counties Tipperary and Waterford for the shorter time of 10:00pm tonight through to 2:00am in the morning. Similar wind speeds are expected in these regions.

Finally, a Status Yellow wind warning will be enforced in Connacht, as well as counties Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Donegal, Tipperary and Waterford.

In these counties, southerly winds will veer northwesterly and reach mean speeds of 50-65kph with gusts of 90 to 110kph.

The warning will be valid from 11:00pm tonight through to 9:00am tomorrow.

Meanwhile, it will be damp and mostly cloudy this morning with scattered outbreaks of rain, but some dry periods will occur also.

A spell of more persistent rain will start to extend from the south-west by this afternoon.

Winds will increase over southern and western parts of the country from late afternoon, with severe and damaging gusts developing in the south-west of the country as Storm Hannah approaches. It will be cooler than of late, with highs of 8° to 12°.

Strong to gale force and gusty northwesterly winds will bear down on Munster, Connacht and south Leinster at first tonight, with severe and damaging gusts in west Munster and along the south coast.

It will be windy countrywide overnight but the most severe and damaging winds will gradually ease as the night goes on.

Outbreaks of rain will continue tonight, with some heavy bursts, but the rain will gradually break up into showers and clear spells in the west and southwest overnight. Lows will drop to 3° to 6°.

Drying conditions have been very good up until recently but will remain poor across most areas over the coming days with unsettled spells.

Spraying opportunities will be limited today and tomorrow but some improvement is expected thereafter.

Regarding field conditions, soil moisture deficits are rising and the land is in very good shape right now and very workable, according to the national forecaster.

Tomorrow

There will be a windy start to tomorrow with fresh to strong and gusty northwesterly winds. Remaining rain in the east and north will clear by early afternoon, with sunny spells and scattered showers in west and south expected to extend countrywide.

The showers will become increasingly isolated towards evening as northwest winds gradually moderate. It will be cool, with highs of 8° to 12°.

Tomorrow night will be mainly dry with clear spells at first, but cloud will gradually thicken from the south-west and patchy light rain and drizzle will devlop in parts of Munster and Connacht overnight.

Lows of 2° to 7° are expected, with it likely to be coldest in Ulster where clear spells will persist the longest. Mist and fog patches will form in the mainly light breezes.

Sunday

Sunday will be a mainly cloudy and misty day with patchy light rain and drizzle. Some limited brighter intervals are possible towards evening, according to Met Éireann.

It will be a little milder than recent days, with highs of 11° to 16° expected, likely to be coolest along the east coast. Light southeast or variable breezes are also anticipated.

Sunday night will continue mainly cloudy and misty with occasional rain or drizzle. Lows of 7° to 11° are likely in mainly light southeasterly breezes.