Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 26 May 2016

Here comes the rain again: Met Office issues severe yellow weather warning in Northern Ireland for the weekend

By Linda Stewart

Published 02/01/2016

A recovery truck rescues a broken down car on the Moira Road in Co Antrim after Storm Frank hits across Northern Ireland
A recovery truck rescues a broken down car on the Moira Road in Co Antrim after Storm Frank hits across Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is facing even more torrential rain after the Met Office issued a severe yellow weather warning for the weekend.

As the region emerges from the fourth wettest December on record, it looks like there will be no let-up, with up to 20mm of rainfall predicted to fall on already-saturated ground on Sunday.

Nick Prebble of forecasters MeteoGroup said a front was moving in from the Atlantic, bringing a very heavy band of rain.

But while it will be breezy, there will not be any exceptional winds across Northern Ireland.

"Throughout Saturday, the rain might be drizzly at times, but it will not be particularly persistent," Mr Prebble said.

"There will be up to 10mm of rainfall, but nothing of the order of levels that lead to flooding."

"Sunday is looking like it's going to be quite a bit wetter with a front moving in from the Atlantic. We could be looking at 15mm, possibly 20mm, through the day.

"Into next week, it's staying fairly showery with possibly longer spells of rain at times.

"The temperature will not be far away from what you expect for this time of year. It will be mainly unsettled over the next week."

The Met Office said outbreaks of rain, heavy at times, would affect Northern Ireland during the weekend, with counties Down, Armagh and Antrim and Belfast city expected to see the most persistent rainfall and highest accumulations.

"Given recent wet weather, be aware of an increased risk of both surface and river flooding, as well as some local disruption to transport," a spokesman added.

"A front moving slowly through the area will bring persistent rain on Saturday, followed by another spell of heavier rain on Sunday, when rainfall totals are likely to exceed 40mm locally on both days, mainly over hills."

According to Traffic Watch NI, many roads remain impassable. Ten across Co Armagh are closed because of high water levels in the Callan River, and the Rivers Agency said water levels in the River Blackwater were expected to rise over the weekend.

Fifteen roads are closed across Fermanagh, including the Drumanure Road near Derrygonnelly, which is expected to remain closed for at least another week or two because of a collapsed culvert.

New Line Road in Rathfriland is also closed because of a collapse and the A20 Portaferry Road near Newtownards is closed due to undermining of the carriageway by seawater.

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