Storm Bella to introduce colder weather

Met √Čireann has issued a Status Yellow Wind Warning for the western half of Ireland with effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.  

Through Saturday afternoon, evening and night, westerly winds associated with Storm Bella (named by UK Met Office) will reach mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/h in Connacht, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

With the combination of strong winds, high waves and forecasted storm surge, there is a risk of coastal flooding. 

The storm system will introduce much colder air across Ireland during Sunday. Scattered blustery showers of rain, hail, sleet and snow will occur in all parts.

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Irish Weather Online forecaster Peter O'Donnell says, "St Stephen's Day will be a windy and briefly milder day with the highest temperatures of 9 to 11 degrees occurring either in the late overnight or morning hours, with a gradual drop back to colder values (5 to 8 C) by afternoon and evening. Some outbreaks of rain are likely (5-15 mm) with winds westerly 60 to 100 km/hr."

He added, "Sunday will turn considerably colder with mostly cloudy skies, a few breaks in the overcast here and there, and scattered wintry showers that may begin to drop small accumulations of snow mostly on hills at first, as temperatures will be steady in the 1 to 4 C range most of the day. Quite windy, northwest to north 50 to 80 km/hr, adding a chill factor that will make those readings feel closer to about -4 C."

"Monday will bring the risk of sleet or wet snow especially over eastern counties. The strong winds will abate for a while, except near the western coasts which will remain in northerly winds of 40 to 70 km/hr most of the day, with passing wintry showers. Lows near -2 C and highs 2 to 5 C for most areas."

Cold spell to continue into New Year
Peter O'Donnell says, "Tuesday and Wednesday (29-30th) will remain in a rather cold northerly flow turning somewhat more westerly later, temperatures generally near 4 C in the daytime hours and dropping to -2 C or so at night, and occasional outbreaks of wintry showers likely, with partly cloudy to overcast skies and moderate wind speeds.

"NEW YEARS EVE (31st) may see more organized wintry outbreaks of sleet or snow as low pressure from the north drifts down across the country, and temperatures may fall a few degrees further to near 1 or 2 C daytime, which could mean small accumulations of snow in at least those areas inland and a bit higher than sea level. This situation is of course a week away and the guidance could change in either direction, at the moment I would say it's a rather marginal but potentially significant snow scenario.

"The OUTLOOK beyond that into the first part of January 2021 sees very little change in the pattern, rather cold with ongoing risks of wintry mixtures including some accumulating snowfalls, and temperatures generally rather low although not into the "frigid" category," added Peter.

View Peter O'Donnell's long range forecast for more.