Category 3 Hurricane set to batter Ireland and the UK

Ophelia is set to reach the UK and Ireland on Monday morning. (National Hurricane Centre)

The UK Met Office has issued an amber weather warning as it predicts that Hurricane Ophelia will cross northern parts of Ireland during Monday afternoon and evening bringing with it some very strong winds.

Ophelia was upgraded from a category two to three hurricane on Saturday, although the storm is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds of up to 80mph by the time it hits Ireland tomorrow.

Gusts of 55-65 mph are likely across Northern Ireland with 70-80 mph gusts in the far southeast. A smaller area of very gusty winds is then likely to run across Northern Ireland from the west with 65-75 mph gusts possible for a short period of time in any one location.

Both of these areas of very strong winds may well occur during a busy traveling period.

They warn that there is a “good chance” Northern Ireland could be affected by power cuts, flying debris, large waves in coastal areas and disruption to all travel services and they add that there is a “potential danger to life”.

Ophelia is currently moving toward N Ireland from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, and is currently blowing winds of 105mph (113km/h).

However the hurricane will have weakened to a storm when it hits the UK later in the afternoon, exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 killed 18 people.

The Republic of Ireland’s Met Office has issued a red warning for counties in Munster and Connacht, predicting that coastal areas will be hit by winds in excess of 80mph (130km/h) from 09:00 BST on Monday until Tuesday.


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