Please be careful out there!

Forecasters issue ‘code red’ warning as storm approaches

Weather forecasters have issued a “code red” alert for Counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo as a severe storm sweeps the country.

Met Éireann issued the alert and warned of damaging gusts of 120 to 150km/h in these areas later today and tonight.

A “code orange” alert, with gusts between 100 and 120 km/h, has been issued for Counties Clare and Cavan. The Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare will be closed from 1pm as a result of the warning.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for the rest of country, where gusts of 90 to 100km/h are forecast.

A red alert is a “relatively rare event”, according to Met Éireann and “implies that recipients take action to protect themselves and/or their properties”.

“This could be by moving their families out of the danger zone temporarily; by staying indoors; or by other specific actions aimed at mitigating the effects of the weather conditions,” according to the national forecaster’s website.

An orange alert describes conditions “which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas” while a yellow alert predicts “conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the general population, but only to those exposed to risk by nature of their location and/or activity.”

Winds will ease gradually as the night goes on, but showers will be widespread and a few will turn wintry, with snow or hail expected over higher ground in the west and north.

Temperatures will fall to between -1 and +1 degrees, with widespread frost and a risk of icy roads.

Tomorrow will be cold with blustery wintry showers, especially in the west and north, with highest temperatures reaching 3 to 6 degrees. There is a chance snow may accumulate on higher ground.

The outlook is for very changeable conditions for the run up to Christmas, with wet and windy spells followed by cold and bright conditions. The occasional wintry shower can also be expected.