Weather Update: Hurricane Ophelia could hit Longford

Batten down the hatches as hurricane heads for Ireland

Met Éireann has issued a status yellow warning as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia head towards Ireland.

The hurricane, which is currently over the Atlantic Ocean and heading eastwards towards Ireland, is expected to hit the island on Monday.

"On Monday, an Atlantic storm from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia will move northwards close to Ireland," said Met Éireann.

"There is still a high degree of uncertainty regarding the exact track and evolution of the storm. However, storm force winds, heavy rain and high seas are threatened. Met Éireann will continue to monitor this storm and will issue appropriate warnings as required."

Speaking on Morning Ireland, RTE Radio One, this morning, Gerald Flaming, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, said that it's still unclear which part of the country will bear the brunt of the storm.

"It's in an unusual position, it's down in the centre of the Atlantic, somewhat south of the Azores, so it's nowhere near the Caribbean or the US, so it's taking a very unusual track to get to us," he said.

"It'll move northwards between the Azores and the Canary Islands, so it looks like it will reach us at some point on Monday, according to the current guidance.

"It seems like it will land on the south-west coast, the Cork and Kerry coasts, but I would have to issue a health warning that it's three to four days away and that track could change significantly in those days.

"We've been looking at the guidance over the last few days and it has been reasonably consistent but we know that if it takes a westerly track it could pass up into the Atlantic harmlessly, that is a possibility but at the moment it's likely that it will come up right over the country."

He added that heavy rain is predicted for Ireland early next week: "It's difficult to know because these tropical cyclones carry an awful lot of moisture, they have a lot of moist air in them and can dump a lot of rain in a short period.

"It will move across the country fairly quick, at the moment it's too early to predict which part of the country will get heavy rain but at the moment we can certainly see heavy bursts of rain as it moved over Ireland."

Mr Fleming also said that it was very unusual for Ireland to be struck by hurricanes or ex-hurricanes.

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