LATEST: Met Eireann may issue Orange Weather Warning for Lorenzo

Senan Hogan

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Senan Hogan

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editor@kildarepost.com

Met Eireann may issue a precautionary Weather Warning tomorrow morning in advance of Hurricane Lorenzo which is expected to make impact a day later as an Extra Tropical Storm. 

An initial Status Orange alert is most likely - either at a national or regional basis - as it warns people to prepare for adverse conditions. 

The National Hurricane Centre in the US is closely tracking Lorenzo and said today that it currently has wind speeds of 100 miles per hour or 161 km per hour in the south Atlantic Ocean and is moving faster north eastwards towards Western Europe. 

Lorenzo is being compared to Storm Ophelia which hit Ireland almost two years ago and was regarded as the most powerful weather system to reach our shores in half a century. 

On that occasion, Met Eireann issued an initial Status Orange Alert before upgrading it to an extremely rare Status Red Weather Alert - which resulted in all schools and many workplaces shutting. 

Ophelia brought wind speeds of 156 km per hour, caused 360,000 power cuts to customers, lifted roofs, knocked trees and caused significant coastal flooding.

Tragically three lives were lost - two were killed when trees fell on their cars and another man died while clearing a fallen tree with a chainsaw.

The full impact of Lorenzo is still very uncertain at this stage as different forecasting models are being used. 

Kildare Co Council and other local authorities have been contacted by Environment Minister Eoghan Murphy and asked to prepare for storm impacts by activating Crisis Management and Local Co-ordination arrangements.

The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management is also meeting this morning in Dublin. 

Minister Murphy said: "Following meetings of the NDFEM and Met Eireann this morning on Hurricane Lorenzo, I am convening a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) in Agriculture House at 4pm today."

In its latest update, Met Eireann said: "There is still uncertainty regarding the exact of Lorenzo, there it a high probability that it could track close to or over Ireland in a weakened form, bringing strong winds, southeasterly initially, veering westerly and strengthening further.

"There may also be a risk of severe winds developing later Thursday and Thursday night, depending on the track."

"Spells of rain also, with high seas and swells."

Irish Weather Online experts said that Lorenzo will weaken as it reaches Ireland and a Yellow Alert is most likely.

Donegal Bay and the north Ulster coast could see the brunt of the weather system, the forecasters said. 

The added: "The most likely outcome would be south to southwest winds of 60 to 100 km/hr in many parts of the country, and 80 to 120 km/hr near exposed western and later northern coasts."