Gusts of up to 100km/hr and heavy rain forecast as weather warnings issued for coming days

Gusts of up to 100km/hr and heavy rain forecast as weather warnings issued for coming days

Gusts of up to 100km/hr and up to 30mm of rain are forecast in parts of Ireland in the coming days as Storm Dennis batters parts of the country.

Met Éireann is warning of potential flooding as the severe winds and rain combine in the next few days.

Two weather warnings are in place for tomorrow morning. A status-yellow warning for wind will be in place until 9pm, while a status-yellow rain warning will last until at least 8pm.

Forecasters have indicated that Sunday could be even worse, though, with gale-force winds expected in some areas, especially along the west coast.

Paul Downes, a meteorologist with the forecast division of Met Éireann, said there is a possibility that conditions could worsen over the weekend.

"A widespread Status Yellow wind warning is likely to be issued and possibly Orange level winds locally (especially in the vicinity of squally showers along Atlantic coasts) can be expected. Winds will gradually ease through Monday, but not dissimilar to this past Monday showery conditions can be expected with wintry conditions possible."

The centre of the storm is just south of Iceland, though it is expected to make its presence felt in Ireland. Met Éireann said there will be long spells of heavy, thundery rain over the weekend, leading to some flooding. It has also predicted winds of between 50km/hr and 65km/hr, with gusts of up to 100km/hr, which will be strongest on exposed coasts and hills.

Flooding is also expected. Currently, river levels are particularly elevated in the midlands, west and south, so heavy rainfall could cause further issues.

A combination of high seas and strong winds or stormy conditions may increase the possibility of coastal flooding, especially along the western and southern coasts. This issue could be exacerbated as the ground is "completely saturated" due to the wet weather in the past week, according to Met Éireann.

The last seven days have been extremely wet due to Storm Ciara, with some parts of the country seeing four times their average amount of rain for the period.

The storm is being caused by an unusually active jet stream.

The US Government's National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center said the weather is resulting in "multiple rounds of hazardous marine conditions including widespread hurricane-force winds & phenomenal seas." The forecast centre warned that ships in the Atlantic could be in danger as waves reach as high as 30 metres.

AccuWeather's Global Weather Center said the storm developed into "a formidable bomb cyclone" on early Thursday and will bring dangerous winds and flooding.

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