Storm Betty: Weather warnings upgraded as Ireland hit with strong winds and heavy rain |

Storm Betty has the potential to bring strong winds and rain as well as the threat of flooding across Ireland, according to the Government’s national weather emergency team.

Government departments and agencies as well as every local authority attended a briefing from Met Éireann which outlined that current forecasts suggest Storm Betty will move southwest to northeast across the country from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning.

The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) said this could potentially bring “strong winds, rain and the threat of coastal, pluvial and fluvial flooding”.

The NDFEM said in a statement: “Storm Betty is forecast to bring high winds, particularly across the Southern areas. Rainfall levels of 40mm could be experienced across the country with the potential for over 60mm in some areas.

“This is a dynamic storm system, intensified by the jet stream leading to some uncertainty as to the potential track and intensity of Storm Betty.”

A status orange rain warning has come into effect for seven counties, as Storm Betty is forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds as it sweeps across the island.

Met Éireann upgraded its warning for Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford, with conditions possibly leading to localised flooding, difficult travelling conditions and wave overtopping along coasts.

The alert is in place until 11pm on Friday.

A status orange wind warning for the same seven counties comes into effect from 9pm on Friday until 3am on Saturday, with severe gusts of up to 130km/h and possible coastal flooding expected.

This could lead to structural damage, falling trees, travel disruption, power outages, and localised flooding, according to Met Éireann.

Three yellow warnings for wind and rain are in place for the rest of the country from Friday afternoon, and which will remain in place until 3-6am on Saturday.

The stormy weather brings the risk of thundery downpours on Friday, as well as strong winds along eastern-facing coasts.

Met Éireann forecaster Matthew Martin said the weather system would bring “heavy and persistent rain” spreading from the south of the island on Friday afternoon, and there would be a continuing threat of flooding in the evening.

The UK Met Office has also issued a status yellow warning for the North, with heavy rain bringing the potential for some disruption on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

A separate wind warning for counties Antrim and Down will be in place from 6pm on Friday until noon on Saturday, which brings a risk of strong winds that could disrupt transport and temporary infrastructure.

The weather for the rest of the weekend will be mixed, with some good dry spells and some showers.

Saturday will be a bright and breezy day nationwide with sunny spells, Met Éireann said. A few showers will occur, mainly in the southwest and west of the country. Temperatures will reach 18 to 22 degrees.

Met Éireann said there will be plenty of dry weather on Sunday with spells of sunshine and just a few showers, mainly confined to Atlantic coastal counties. It will be a fairly warm day according to Met Éireann, with highest temperatures of 18 to 23 degrees.

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