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Northern Ireland weather alert as gales sweep in

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Heavy rain is expected to hit Northern Ireland.

Heavy rain is expected to hit Northern Ireland.

PA Wire/PA Images

Heavy rain is expected to hit Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland is to be hit with flooding and severe gales today as the first of two weather warnings issued by the Met Office for this week arrives today.

Heavy rains and gales are expected to cause delays on public transport across Northern Ireland roads, rail, air and ferry routes as a yellow weather warning comes into force this morning.

There is a risk of some homes and businesses flooding as between 40-60mm of heavy, persistent rain will hit some areas from rush hour today through to 7pm.

It is expected that up to 10mm of rain will fall in hourly spates and the public has been warned that falling autumn leaves may cause drains to block and increase the likelihood of surface water.

Affected areas are mainly on the east coast and include Carrickfergus, Larne, Ballycastle, Donaghadee and Downpatrick.

Belfast is expected to miss the worst of the bad weather. However, Northern Ireland is expected to experience a few hours of dryness around mid-day.

Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said tomorrow will be the best the week has to offer with bright and largely dry conditions, but warned a potential storm could be on its way by the start of the weekend.

"There is an area of low pressure which is bringing up a front and that's bringing a band of heavy and quite persistent rain to mostly the eastern side of Northern Ireland," she said.

"Belfast will still have a wet day, but the city itself is not included in the actual warning."

But the bad weather is set to return on Friday with a vengeance.

A belt of rain and strong winds is expected to batter all parts of Northern Ireland, with heavy rain of between 15-25mm expected to fall between 9am and 9pm, increasing to 40mm-60mm on higher ground.

Flooding of homes and businesses is likely and there could be short term losses of power.

Belfast Telegraph