herald

Saturday 20 December 2014

Gale-force winds will cause havoc, warn forecasters

BRACE yourself for one last storm of 2012.

The New Year might be the time of 'out with the old, and in with the new', but not so for our weather forecasters.

They are predicting yet more rain to lash the country and there is a warning that it is time to batten down the hatches.

The mild Christmas will give way to wild weather over the coming days as gale force winds cause havoc over the weekend.

Overnight

Met Eireann has issued a weather warning and forecast wind speeds of as much as 100kmph in some exposed areas.

There is a risk that many homes could be left without power.

There were power cuts and fallen trees nationwide last Sunday morning following gale force winds that lashed the country overnight.

And it will be more of the same as January 1 approaches.

Forecasters say that it will be "very unsettled weather for the rest of December and over the New Year".

However there are "some indications for drier, milder conditions after the turn of the year".

Meteorologist Joan Blackburn said: "It's a very disturbed picture over the next few days. Atlantic weather is dominating and there will be wet and windy spells.

"In the evening, winds get up again and it looks like getting very windy everywhere and wet weather will spread up across the country.

"I'd expect gales or strong gales and maybe even stronger winds; it depends on how it all pans out."

She said: "There'll be strong winds everywhere" but said it may not be "as gusty or squally" as last Saturday night.

Showers

Temperatures are set to drop over the weekend, with frost expected in most parts.

Afternoon temperatures will be 5-8C in a fresh to strong west to northwest wind.

It will be cold on New Year's Eve night, with showers, especially in the west and north, where some may be wintry on higher ground.

The first day of 2013 will be "cold, bright, with sunny spells and some scattered showers in the morning, dying away and becoming mostly dry".

kdoyle@herald.ie

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