A STATUS red wind warning has been issued for counties Kerry and Cork for tomorrow morning, Tuesday 7 December, when Storm Barra will reach the country.
Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann Evelyn Cusack said on RTÉ News at One that the storm is currently forming in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
She described it as a "weather bomb" which will pose a danger to life, as well as a risk of snow and flooding over the next two days.
Southwesterly winds will veer northwesterly, reaching average speeds in excess of 80km/h with severe or damaging gusts in excess of 130km/h.
Coastal flooding is also expected, with disruption to power and travel also likely.
The warning is in effect from 6am on Tuesday until 9pm.
#StormBarra will bring disruptive weather to Ireland on Tuesday and Wednesday, with impacts from severe, damaging winds as well as heavy rain. #Wind and #rain warnings are in place across Ireland ⚠️🍃☔️
Read more in our #StormBarra news story 📰ℹ️ https://t.co/jZZxcE5Nup pic.twitter.com/dVL6MasdRA
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) December 6, 2021
A status orange warning has also been issued for counties Clare, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo and Wexford.
In these counties, winds will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with severe or damaging gusts of 100 to 130km/h.
The orange warning is in place from 6am until 6am on Wednesday.
Ms Cusack said local authorities and emergency services are preparing for hazards brought about by "a significant and severe weather event".
She also said it will be "a very bad morning everywhere," with the potential for snow blizzards for a few hours in Donegal, Sligo and the northwest.
The Irish Coast Guard, Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána and Local Authorities are urging people to stay away from coastal area for the duration of the warnings, and to only take necessary journeys.