The National Directorate for Fire & Emergency Management Crisis Management Team met this morning and have been liaising with Met Éireann in regards to the outlook for the week ahead including Storm Ciara.
The weather is expected to deteriorate from Friday 7th February with an Atlantic system moving in across the country bringing scattered showers of rain or drizzle with a spell of more persistent and at times heavy rain moving into the south and west on Friday afternoon, becoming widespread in the evening. Fresh to strong and gusty south to southeast winds with gales along some coasts can be expected. Colour coded warning levels are not expected with this frontal passage.
After a mostly dry start on Saturday morning, heavy rain and strong and gusty southerly winds will move eastwards over the country bringing a risk of very strong squally winds, with gales along all coasts and strong gale force winds along the northwest coast. The winds will be accompanied by heavy rain countrywide with it possibly lingering into the evening in parts of Leinster and Munster. Possible rainfall amounts of between 20-40mm predicted in the 24 hour period from Saturday morning.
Met Éireann has issued a Yellow wind advisory for the country in effect from 09.00 on Saturday 8th February until Sunday 23.59, there is also a Yellow advisory for rainfall in effect from Saturday 8th February at 12.00 until 15.00 on Sunday 9th February.
On Sunday Storm Ciara tracks to the north of the country and current models indicate Yellow level wind warnings country wide due to very strong to near gale force and gusty southwest wind (This is under constant review as the track of the Storm becomes more certain and may escalate to Orange levels). The winds will be accompanied by a period of heavy rain clearing to squally wintry showers, with Yellow level rainfall warnings in effect, with 20-40mm expected. The rain will clear to showers and squally westerly winds later in the day, with a risk of some hail and thunder.
The Office of Public Works have indicated that we are currently approaching Spring Tides, with high Spring tidal levels expected from Saturday through to the following Wednesday. The storm surge levels are uncertain at the moment, but with the strong South Westerly winds, there is a possibility of between 0.5 metre and a 1 metre storm surge possible, affecting all coastal areas. Current indications are that the tides on Sunday may be problematic, depending on the exact track of the storm and its timing, it may coincide with Sunday evening high tides. Further information is provided to the Local Authorities on the OPW Tidal and Storm Surge web site.
Outlook for the week ahead from Monday 10th February
Met Éireanns forecast for next week is currently showing that a low pressure system will move across from the west bringing a significant drop in temperatures on Monday, with day time temperatures possibly not getting above freezing in some parts. This cold period will bring showers of sleet/ snow with the possibility of strong winds, with accumulations possible in the North and West but snow falls could push further east. Exact timing and predictions regarding any possible snow will become more certain over the weekend,
NDFEM CMT continue to monitor the potential weather impacts with Met Éireann and the OPW.
Local Authority Severe Weather Assessment Teams are advised actively to monitor Met Éireann forecasts during this period of unsettled weather and consider Crisis Management and Local Coordination arrangements where deemed necessary.