Orange warning issued as Storm Erik approaches

Orange warning issued as Storm Erik approaches

Met Éireann has issued an orange wind warning for counties Donegal, Mayo and Galway for tomorrow morning.

Storm Erik is expected to reach Ireland during the early hours of Friday morning, with southwest to west winds reaching mean speeds of 65 to 80 km/h with some severe or damaging gusts of 110 to 130 km/h.

The highest winds will be in exposed coastal areas, where these values may be exceeded at times. 

Very high seas as well with some coastal flooding are also predicted.

The meteorological service has also issued a yellow warning for the rest of the country valid from 5am on Friday morning until 6am on Saturday.

Cathal Nolan of the Midland Weather Channel says the west coast will bare the brunt of the storm, but the midlands is in for some very stormy conditions compared to the norm.

"We can expect gusts in the midlands to reach up to 100 - 100 km/h which is fairly windy for what we're usually used to," Cathal told the Westmeath Examiner.

"Coastal fringes will see gusts of 130 - 140km/h which is bordering on category red status. It will cause disruption to flights in Shannon and fast ferry services will also see disruptions."

Outbreaks of rain will spread countrywide tonight. The rain will be persistent and heavy in places. Severe gusts are possible near Atlantic coasts towards dawn.

Friday will be a very windy day with strong to gale force and gusty southwesterly winds gradually veering westerly.

"Potentially damaging gusts" on the west coast through the morning and for much of the day on north coasts.

Widespread blustery showers will continue on Friday night, and some of the showers will be heavy with a risk of hail and isolated thunderstorms. 

Saturday will start windy with further scattered showers.

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