En­joy warm weather for now – Hur­ri­cane Ophe­lia is on the way

Irish Independent - - News - Ian Be­g­ley and Kathy Arm­strong

SOAR­ING tem­per­a­tures this week­end will be short-lived as Hur­ri­cane Ophe­lia is set to hit with a com­bi­na­tion of storm­force winds and heavy rain­fall.

Tem­per­a­tures of up to 19C have been fore­cast for to­day and to­mor­row as the coun­try en­joys un­sea­son­ably high tem­per­a­tures.

But en­joy the good weather be­fore it’s too late as fore­cast­ers have warned Hur­ri­cane Ophe­lia has “con­tin­ued to strengthen” as it tracks to­wards Ire­land.

Ophe­lia is cur­rently south of the Azores and is ex­pected to bring winds of over 120kmh when it reaches Ire­land on Mon­day.

The Flor­ida-based Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­tre (NHC) said it is gain­ing strength but it is ex­pected to be down­graded to a post-trop­i­cal storm by the time it reaches Ire­land.

How­ever, heavy rain, wind and “dan­ger­ous marine con­di­tions” are pre­dicted.

“Ophe­lia is ex­pected to tran­si­tion to a hur­ri­cane-force post-trop­i­cal cy­clone by Mon­day when it moves near Ire­land and the United King­dom,” an NHC spokesper­son said.

“While post-trop­i­cal Ophe­lia will likely bring some di­rect im­pacts from wind and heavy rain to por­tions of th­ese ar­eas, as well as dan­ger­ous marine con­di­tions, given the fore­cast un­cer­tainty at th­ese time ranges it is too soon to de­ter­mine the ex­act mag­ni­tude, tim­ing and lo­ca­tion of the im­pacts.

“Res­i­dents in Ire­land and the United King­dom should mon­i­tor the progress of Ophe­lia for the next sev­eral days.”

Met Éire­ann has is­sued a sta­tus yel­low weather warn­ing for Ire­land un­til 6am on Tues­day as it ad­vised of “po­ten­tial high-im­pact events”.

A spokesper­son warned: “A com­bi­na­tion of a vig­or­ous At­lantic weather sys­tem and the rem­nants of Hur­ri­cane Ophe­lia will pass close to Ire­land on Mon­day, and has the po­ten­tial to be a high-im­pact event in parts of the coun­try.

“There is a lot of un­cer­tainty as to the ex­act evo­lu­tion and move­ment of this weather sys­tem dur­ing the com­ing four days, but storm-force winds, out­breaks of heavy rain, and very high seas are threat­ened.”

AA Ire­land has also urged peo­ple to pre­pare a “home storm kit” ahead of the ad­verse weather. “As Ophe­lia is the first se­vere weather event we’ll have en­coun­tered this year, home­own­ers may not be fully pre­pared for the po­ten­tial heavy rain­fall and risk of flood­ing,” said Conor Faughan, AA di­rec­tor of con­sumer af­fairs.

Hur­ri­cane Ophe­lia has con­tin­ued to strengthen

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