herald

Thursday 12 December 2019

What we know so far about the storm's threat

Members of the public will recall how a national bread shortage was reported around the time of Storm Emma last year, with people stocking up before the storm hit. Picture: Arthur Carron
Members of the public will recall how a national bread shortage was reported around the time of Storm Emma last year, with people stocking up before the storm hit. Picture: Arthur Carron

Storm Lorenzo is expected to bring extreme weather today if, as expected, it moves across Ireland. Here's what we know so far about the weather event:

How severe will Storm Lorenzo be when it hits?

Met Eireann has said the effects of the coming storm will begin to be felt across Ireland from midday today, peaking late this evening and tonight, and easing tomorrow morning.

The most severe winds associated with Lorenzo are likely in Atlantic coastal parts on the southern flank of the storm but strong winds are possible in all areas.

Are there weather warnings in place?

A status orange wind warning has been issued for six counties on the west coast.

The warning is in place for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick from 6pm this evening until 3am. Winds will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80kph with gusts generally of 100 to 130kph, Met Eireann said.

A status yellow wind warning is in place for the rest of Ireland from 9am today until 6am tomorrow. There is also a status yellow rainfall warning in place nationwide from 9am today until 9am tomorrow, with up to 50mm of rainfall expected in the west and north-west.

What sort of damage will the storm bring?

Met Eireann has warned that Lorenzo will bring heavy rain, and with fallen leaves blocking drains and gullies, some surface flooding is possible.

It added that fallen trees are a concern, which may "exacerbate flooding potential". Forecasters said that river levels are currently elevated across the country and the rainfall may lead to river flooding, especially in the midlands and west.

Does that mean schools will be closed?

Schools are carefully monitoring Lorenzo alerts but will only close if the status orange warning is extended beyond early tomorrow morning.

The Department of Education said individual schools should carefully monitor Met Eireann updates and act in the interest of child safety.

Will flights be cancelled?

While there is no confirmation of cancelled flights yet, holiday-goers have been warned that there may be some disruption.

How can I protect my home from storm damage?

Insurance group Insuremyhouse.ie has released tips for the public to minimise any devastation from the storm. "Check your external walls and windows to ensure they are adequately water resistant," a spokesperson said.

"There are various products, sealants and varnishes available to waterproof any areas of concern.

"In the event of a flood warning in your area, it might be worth investing in sandbags and/or flood barriers."

Should we stock up on bread?

Members of the public will recall how a national bread shortage was reported around the time of Storm Emma last year, with people stocking up before the storm hit.

While there is no sign of a shortage yet, a near sell-out was spotted by some shoppers in local newsagents yesterday.

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