Members of the public have this evening been urged to heed the advice of the Irish Coast Guard following a severe weather warning issused by Met Eireann for Connaught and a weather alert for the rest of the country as strong winds of up to 140kph are forecast.
The Coast Guard strongly advises the public not to go out on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or any other coastal areas during the inclement weather. Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas which can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline. Severe weather such as this brings not only high winds, but the risk of heavy downpours and the potential for spot flooding.
Met Eireann has forecast strong south to southwest winds for Connaught during Friday will reach mean speeds of 70 to 90 kph at their peak during Friday evening with gusts of 120 to 140 kph likely. A weather warning for the rest of the country has also been issued with strong south to southwest winds during Friday will reach mean speeds of 50 to 70 kph at their peak during Friday evening with gusts of 110 to 120 kph likely. Winds strongest at the coast.
Tonight, south to southwest gales or strong gales will develop on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea. Operators of small craft have been advised that west to northwest winds will reach force 6 for a time this afternoon coasts from Carling ford Lough to Howth Head to Carnsore Point.
Irish Coast Guard Manager Declan Geoghegan said: “Do not attempt to cross fast running rivers or floods as they may be stronger and deeper than you think. Flooded urban areas can contain hazards such as submerged manholes and downed power lines. The combination of tides, gale warnings, high sea conditions and swollen rivers may result in very dangerous conditions.”
The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport also advises anyone travelling this weekend to monitor weather broadcasts, and to heed the advice of the RSA during severe weather and high winds.
Specific advice from the Coast Guard is:
• The public is advised to stay away from the shoreline and to avoid engaging in water sports
• Do not venture out unnecessarily when gale force conditions are forecast
• Avoid exposed coasts, cliff paths and coastal areas during inclement weather this week
If you do see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the shore, cliffs, lakes or rivers dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.