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Hurricane Ophelia warning at highest level Status Red - Northern Ireland braced for impact

Ophelia warning upgraded to highest level Red Alert by Irish Met office

Hurricane Ophelia is sweeping across the Atlantic towards Northern Ireland with forecasters warning of heavy rain and gusts of up to 80mph.

In the Republic, the Irish meteorological service has issued its highest possible Status Red warning.

A spokesman for the service said: "Hurricane Ophelia is expected to transition to a post tropical storm as it approaches our shores on Monday bringing severe winds and stormy conditions .

"Mean wind speeds in excess of 80 km/h and gusts in excess of 130km/h are expected, potentially causing structural damage and disruption, with dangerous marine conditions due to high seas and potential flooding."

The UK Met Office has issued a Yellow Warning for Northern Ireland from 8am on Monday morning, and will last through until just before midnight.

It is possible that there will be delays on road, rail, air and ferry services. Power may also be cut in areas, and there is the potential that other services like mobile phone coverage could be impacted.

The Met Office has also said there is a "slight chance" of damage to buildings, like tiles falling from roofs.

There is also a chance that injuries could occur from beach materials being thrown onto sea fronts.

 

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(PA Graphics)

Monday will see a spell of “very windy weather” sweeping across western parts of the UK, according to the Met Office which has issued a yellow warning for wind early next week, with the potential for gusts of 80mph in coastal areas, particularly in Northern Ireland.

Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, and there could be power cuts, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.

Forecasters say some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs, is possible, and could lead to injuries and danger to life from flying debris, while coastal routes and sea fronts may be affected by spray or large waves.

Meanwhile, the mercury is set to rise over the coming days, with temperatures of 25C (77F) predicted.

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(PA Graphics)

A Met Office spokeswoman said: “The east side of the country certainly benefiting from some warmer temperatures into the weekend and at the start of next week.”

She said temperatures in the south east will be around 20C (68F), going up to 22C (72F) or 23C (73F) on Sunday and “almost mid 20s” on Monday, possibly getting to around 25C (77F).

“Even up as far as Nottingham on Monday will see quite widely again 20C/21C, but may well see 22C/23C,” she said.

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