The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) Severe Weather Team in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government have been monitoring, with Met Éireann, Storm Hannah as it moves towards Ireland.
The current Met Éireann forecast indicates that, as Storm Hannah approaches the south coast, winds will increase over southern and south-western parts of the country from late Friday afternoon and it will bring severe and damaging gusts. As the storm tracks quickly eastwards across the country overnight, the very active band of strong north-westerly winds will affect Munster, Connacht and south Leinster. It will become windy countrywide overnight, but the most severe winds will gradually ease as the night goes on.
Outbreaks of rain will continue tonight, with some heavy bursts, but the rain will gradually break up into showers and clear spells will spread in from the west and southwest overnight.
Met Éireann have issued orange level wind warnings for Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Cork, Waterford and Tipperary. North-westerly winds may gust at higher levels, especially in coastal areas of Clare, Kerry and West Cork, strongest between 6 pm and midnight.
Following the latest run of forecasts this morning, Met Éireann have issued a Red Level warning for Clare as north-westerly winds, associated with Storm Hannah, will reach mean speeds in excess of 80km/h with violent gusts of 130 to 150 km/h for a time this evening between 19.00 and 22.00 hrs.
Coastal Flooding Not Expected
NDFEM have also been liaising with OPW on the threat of coastal flooding but, even with an expected storm surge, background (neap) tidal conditions are such that coastal flooding is not anticipated. There are no flood warnings on the EFAS system (major rivers) for this period.
Local Response and Coordination
NDFEM have been in contact with local authorities covered by the Met Éireann wind warnings associated with storm Hannah, and standard emergency response and coordination arrangements as well as public information messaging have been activated.
NDFEM have liaised with the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport staff who link with transport operators and the Irish Coast Guard. Appropriate public safety messages are being relayed, especially about staying away from exposed coastal areas during the storm.
NDFEM have also linked with ESB Networks, which are on standby to respond to any damage to the supply network arising from Storm Hannah. As always ESBN’s main focus prior to and during the storm is safety of the public and staff, and they will continue to reiterate safety messages through the media, websites and social media.
On-going Monitoring of Situation
NDFEM will continue to monitor the weather situation with Met Éireann. Appropriate response and local coordination arrangements are in place and it is not considered necessary to activate national emergency coordination arrangements at this time. We will monitor the storm impacts with the local authorities and make further decisions as judged appropriate.