herald

Friday 18 January 2019

Flood fear as Katia to bring 9m waves and 130km/h gusts

THE tail end of Hurricane Katia is expected to blast into Ireland from tomorrow night, bringing gusts of up to 130km/h along the western coast.

Waves reaching 9m out in the Atlantic are likely to cause sea flooding in Donegal Bay, Galway Bay, the Shannon estuary and other harbours as they hit the western coastline.



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Met Eireann has predicted winds of up to 130 km/h during the "significant storm" which could uproot trees, cause structural damage and make driving conditions dangerous.

Met Eireann forecaster Gerry Murphy told the Herald that we could expect "very windy and very gusty conditions on Sunday night into Monday morning."

"There will certainly be some fairly severe gusts in Connacht and Ulster and there will also be high waves of up to 9m along the coast," he said.

He warned that with high winds there was "always the potential for damage" and conditions would be stormy.

"It will not be anywhere like a hurricane for us but it will be stormy," he added.

At the moment the Met Office is issuing a "weather advisory" rather than a "severe weather alert".

Britain's Met Office, however, has issued a rare extreme weather alert covering all of Ireland for Monday saying 130km/h winds will cause sea flooding and "phenomenal" ocean conditions with possible danger to ships.

Experts said the winds were expected to hit 130km/h in Dublin and 105km/h in Cork.

The UK experts warned of damage to roofs and trees and said that driving could be "very dangerous" especially in the west. Tornados are also a possibility, the UK office said.

The Category One hurricane is carrying 145km/h winds across a 160km-wide centre and tropical storm force winds across an 800km-wide area.

Experts say it will ease only slightly before it lashes into the north of the country tomorrow night.

Katia's wind gusts are well above the 117km/h speed required for a ranking of hurricane force which means it is likely to cause extensive damage.



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The UK Met Office said: "The public should be aware of the risk of disruption to transport and of the possibility of damage to trees and structures.

"There remains uncertainty about its track and warning areas may be extended or upgraded to amber, but the best estimate is that northern and western parts are most at risk from very strong winds."

hnews@herald.ie

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