Storm Gareth threatens floods and damage with 130kph gusts on way
Storm Gareth is set to batter Ireland with wind speeds up to 130kph this afternoon with coastal flooding and potential damage to property feared.
The storm will lash the country with strong winds and up to 25mm of rainfall and high seas.
Three weather warnings have been issued for the duration of the storm, which will begin today and last until tomorrow afternoon.
An orange wind warning has been issued for the north-west, where wind speeds of up to 130kph are expected for Donegal, Leitrim, and Sligo.
This weather alert will last from 12pm today until 9am tomorrow.
The rest of the country has been placed under a yellow wind warning - with gusts of up to 100kph forecast - and high seas expected along the Atlantic coast. This alert starts at noon today until noon tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a rainfall warning for Connacht, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick began at 6pm last night and remained valid until 6am today.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads during the storm, and has issued a checklist for the public to be aware of objects being blown onto the road.
"Expect the unexpected," a spokesman said. "Watch out for falling or fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
"Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong crosswinds. High-sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
"Drivers should allow extra space allow between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists, as they may be blown off course by strong winds."
The Met Office in the UK has issued a 'danger to life' warning but Met Eireann has only released a mid-level warning and doesn't believe Gareth will be as much of a concern here.
"Storm Gareth is developing in the north Atlantic and it will push first towards the north of Ireland and then into the south," Met Eireann forecaster Matthew Martin said.
"Right through to Wednesday afternoon it will be windy across the country and there will be widespread showers with hail and thunder.
"The winds could be potentially damaging, causing some power outages and potentially causing some trees to fall down. We are also expecting high seas on the Atlantic coast. But this is a mid-level threat, it isn't a red warning. This isn't a stay indoors-type warning. The worst of the storm will take place in the earlier part of the day."