The Met Office has issued a second weather warning for rain as Northern Ireland prepares to be hit by the first named storm of the season.
Storm Agnes had already led to the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning for wind from midday on Wednesday through to 7am on Friday morning.
The new warning for rain will last from 11am on Wednesday untill 8pm that evening.
Storm Agnes, which was described as “intensifying quickly” in the Atlantic during Tuesday evening, is expected to generate winds of up to 75mph and cause dangerous conditions along coastlines, especially Irish Sea coastlines. Its main impact will be strong winds and large waves. Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan said: “We are likely to potentially see some damaging winds, the possibility of some brief power interruptions, particularly in Irish sea coastal areas. “So Northern Ireland, north-west England, west Wales, and south-west Scotland, that’s where we’ll probably see gusts of up to 75mph (Wednesday) afternoon, (Wednesday) evening, that’s when the peak of the winds will be and then Storm Agnes will move across Scotland clearing away from Shetland through Thursday morning.” He added: “In addition to the winds, there’s going to be some large waves as well, so some big stormy seas, and therefore there might well be some coastal flooding where the waves break on to promenades and on to coastal roads.”
The storm is likely to cause “dangerous conditions” on the coasts around the UK and Ireland, according to The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). They advised staying a “safe distance” away from the water and cliff edges to avoid being knocked over or washed into the sea. RNLI water safety partner Sam Hughes said: “It is not worth risking your life. “If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – you may end up in difficulty too.” Disruption to ferry services across the Irish Sea, bridge closures, power cuts and “small amounts” of damage to buildings are also expected. Storm Agnes will be “more widespread” than the last named storm to hit the UK, Storm Betty, but it will not produce “significant widespread and long lasting travel disruption”, it is understood. On Thursday, most parts of the UK will be poised for a “much calmer” forecast and further spells of wet and breezy weather should peter out by the end of the week for a drier weekend.
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