'Extreme winds' and 'bitter cold' to follow Storm Eleanor which was as powerful as Ophelia

Met Eireann issues latest weather advice


Storm Eleanor reaches status red levels as it hits west of Ireland.

Torrential rain and strong winds continue to batter the country following Storm Eleanor which was as strong in places as Hurricane Ophelia.

Met Éireann also says its Status Orange and Yellow warnings remain active for the weather front which has swept across the country causing flooding in some areas. The forecaster is also warning of more wind on Thursday followed by a big dip in temperatures.

The worst of the weather has hit the west coast but most of the country continues to be hit by strong winds and heavy rain.

The forecaster says it will remain extremely windy on Wednesday morning with stormy conditions in the west. A combination of high tides and exceptionally high seas will result in coastal damage and further flooding.

It adds that there will be some sunny spells but also squally heavy thundery downpours, with the risk of local surface flooding inland. Winds will moderate through the afternoon and evening. Highest temperatures of 7 to 10 °C.

While there will be a slight easing off in the weather, Met Éireann is warning that another wild weather front on Thursday bringing more wet and windy weather.

While no storm warning is in place, the forecaster says it will be "extremely windy or stormy" on Thursday morning in some places. There will be squally heavy showers with longer spells of rain in the north possibly falling as sleet on the hills. Brighter in the afternoon with the severe winds abating. Highest afternoon temperatures 6 to 10 degrees Celsius.

The weekend outlook will see the winds gradually ease with drier conditions developing. However, it will become "bitterly cold with widespread severe frosts and the risk of icy stretches".

The forecaster also published information which shows that the storm was as powerful in some places as Hurricane Ophelia. A gust of 84 knots or 155 km/h was recorded at Knock Airport at around 7pm on Tuesday. 

Winds of such speed would meet the Status Red level which was enforced by Met Éireann last October when Ophelia struck. Unlike Ophelia, Eleanor was accompanied by heavy rain. 

A Satus Orange Wind Warning remains in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick
Westerly gale to storm winds together with high tides and exceptionally high seas will result in coastal damage and flooding. Damaging gusts likely inland also.

A Status Yellow Wind Warning is also still valid for for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary and Waterford
Strong and very gusty westerly winds will continue into Wednesday. Further damaging gusts are possible.

Both warnings are valid until 2pm Wednesday, January 3.

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