Fresh fears of flooding as heavy rains return

There are fresh flood fears emerging, with heavy rain sweeping the country last night and most likely today.

Met Éireann has issued a rainfall warning, with the west Munster, Connacht and Donegal areas expected to bear the brunt of the wet weather.

The national meteorological service was predicting rainfall levels of between 30mm-40mm in the worst affected areas.

Head of forecasting at Met Éireann, Gerald Fleming feared the south and south-west could be areas most at risk of flooding.

Mr Fleming said West Cork and parts of Kerry had experienced quite significant rainfall recently that the rest of the country had, by and large, missed.

The latest belt of heavy rain is expected to last until tomorrow but more rain is expected later in the week.

“Until the rain comes, it will be difficult to know the kind of problems that will arise,” said Mr Fleming.

The weather has been unnaturally warm over the last couple of days because of a southern air flow from the tropics.

However, warm air in the winter means wet weather and while it could pass over the country harmlessly, Met Éireann warned of potential dangers.

Mr Fleming said it did not look like there would be a lot of cold weather in the immediate future. “We are back into this windy, wet cycle that we had before Christmas.”

He pointed out that high tides were also expected mid-week which could also cause problems, in addition to the heavy rain and strong winds.

“Some coastal communities might be at risk, particularly those in the south and south-west,” he said.

Met Éireann also advised of south to south-west winds of between 60km/h to 65km/h, with gusts of 100km/h to 110 km/h, expected last night, and likely to continue for a time today.

There are concerns winds could reach higher speeds at times in some exposed Atlantic coastal areas.

While the wet and extremely windy weather was expected to continue today, the heavy rain was expected to clear eastwards during the morning but it will stay windy until the afternoon.

Temperatures will reach 11C to 13C this morning, turning cooler in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, forecasters indicate heavy rain will spread to many parts tonight and it will become very windy again.

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