22 May 2022

In Pictures: Senior Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy warns about 'severe' weather

Met Éireann publishes series of charts for what could be Storm Barra

One of Met Éireann's most senior weather forecasters Gerry Murphy has warned about 'severe and damaging gusts' that will knock trees and cause power cuts while the heavy rain could cause flooding and turn into snow in places.

Meteorologist Gerry Murphy has issued a commentary on the incoming weather which Met Éireann's forecasting partner says is a weather bomb.

"A deep Atlantic depression will bring very wet and windy weather across Ireland through Tuesday and Wednesday," said Mr Murphy on Saturday, December 4.

"Winds will be strong in all areas at times and will reach gale force in coastal areas. Severe and damaging gusts are likely. At the moment the strongest winds are expected to be in western coastal counties of Munster with storm force winds possible at times later on Tuesday.

"The strengthening winds will be accompanied by a spell of heavy rain on Tuesday, followed by heavy showers through Tuesday night and Wednesday. Some of the showers may be of sleet or snow on high ground.

"Due to spring tides, very high waves and large surge levels, coastal flooding may occur along Munster and south Connacht coasts," wrote Mr Murphy on the Met Éireann website.

The commentary also outlined some details. 

Possible Impacts

Very strong winds and damaging gusts are likely to bring disruption due to power outages, fallen trees or branches or other debris.

As well as coastal flooding, heavy rain or showers will bring localised flooding. Travel disruption is likely at times due to strong winds, poor visibility, localised flooding and poor surface conditions due to hail, sleet or possible snow on high ground.

Detailed forecast

A storm depression will develop in the mid-Atlantic on Monday as a result of dynamic forcing from the Jetstream in the upper atmosphere. The low pressure system will rapidly deepen as it tracks northeastwards over the Atlantic and approaches Ireland on a strong westerly Jetstream.

As the depression approaches Ireland, it will slow down and become relatively slow moving through Tuesday and Wednesday. The exact track and timing of the depression is not definite. At the moment it is expected to reach a minimum pressure of 952 hPa on Tuesday afternoon at round 100 nautical miles or 185 Km to the west of Ireland. The depression will slowly fill and its central pressure gradually increase as it moves slowly eastwards over Ireland through Tuesday night and Wednesday, eventually clearing southeastwards through Wednesday night.

The development and track of the depression through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is shown in the charts  above.

Wind Forecast

As the depression approaches Ireland, southerly winds will strengthen through Monday night and early Tuesday with gales or strong gales developing along all Irish coasts and the Irish Sea. Cyclonic variable winds will develop as the depression moves over Ireland.

Later Tuesday and through Tuesday night, very strong westerly winds will develop in western coastal counties. Currently it looks like the strongest winds will occur in western coastal counties of Munster and Co. Galway.

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