Met Éireann issues three new weather warnings as forecaster warns Storm Diana will bring ‘severe and potentially damaging winds’ of up to 130km/h

Met Éireann issues three new weather warnings as forecaster warns Storm Diana will bring ‘severe and potentially damaging winds’ of up to 130km/h

MET Éireann has issued three new weather warnings as Storm Diana approaches the west coast of Ireland.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Cork, Kerry and Waterford from 6am today until 12pm tomorrow, with winds of 65km/h to 80km/h and gusts of 110km/h to 130km/h expected.

There is also a Status Orange wind warning for Wexford, Galway and Clare which will be in force tomorrow from 9am to 2pm.

Additionally, the forecaster has issued a less severe Status Yellow alert for the rest of the country between 5am and 4pm tomorrow.

The fresh weather alerts come after Status Yellow warnings were handed out to 16 Irish counties yesterday, before one was updated this morning.

Speaking today, Met Éireann meteorologist Liz Walsh said high winds may become damaging from early doors tomorrow, with some local flooding expected in coastal areas in particular.

She said: "Storm Diana will produce some severe and potentially damaging winds as it moves northwards to the west of Ireland on Wednesday and a number of warnings have been issued in relation to this event.

"A Status Yellow wind warning has been issued for the 26 counties that we have responsibility for.

"Winds are expected to reach mean wind speeds of 55 to 65km/h and gusts of 90 to 110km/h".

She added: "Additionally, two Status Orange level wind warnings have been issued for the southern and western coastal counties of Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Clare and Galway to warn of the potential for winds with mean speeds of 65km/h to 80km/h and gusts of 110km/h to 130km/h.

"These orange level winds will mostly occur in coastal regions of these counties and about high ground and there is also the added risk of coastal flooding due to very high seas."

The strongest winds on Wednesday will be coming from a slightly different direction (south-southwest) than the strongest winds today (southeasterly) – which will produce some differences in how they are experienced in different parts of the country, meaning weaker or stronger depending on exposure.

Accompanying the wind will be some heavy rainfall as well, with Connacht and west Ulster likely to bear the brunt of the wettest conditions.

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, warned commuters to expect delays on Wednesday and urged drivers to be especially careful.

He said: "Tuesday brought its fair share of miserable weather conditions early in the day, but it’s important that we all understand Storm Diana is still ahead of us and in line with the warnings from Met Éireann, there is the potential that driving conditions could greatly deteriorate.

"With the potential for strong winds and rain, motorists need to drive responsibly, allow extra stopping distance and to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users".

He continued: "When we get conditions like these we see many people who would normally commute by public transport or alternative methods make use of a car if they have access to one, meaning your work commute could take longer.

"However, there will still be cyclists and pedestrians out and about so it’s important that you allow these road users extra space as a sudden gust could easily force them to veer off-course."