Storm Barra hit UK, brings strong winds, heavy rain and snow to NI

Storm Barra has brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow to Northern Ireland.

A yellow warning for wind is in effect until 18:00 GMT on Tuesday which could cause travel disruption.

The Met Office downgraded its previous yellow warning, which included heavy rainfall, that had been expected to last into Wednesday.

A red warning remains in place for parts of the south-west of the Republic of Ireland.

This is the country’s highest weather alert level and has prompted the closure of schools across 12 counties, with about 49,000 homes and businesses without power.

Northern Ireland Electricity said about 5,500 of its customers were without power at lunchtime on Tuesday.

In pictures: Storm Barra arrives in Northern Ireland
A spokesperson said extra staff had been brought in to deal with the repair effort and it had “mobilised additional call agents to deal with any queries customers may have regarding the repair process in their area”.

Meanwhile, yellow warnings for rain, wind and snow are in place across much of Great Britain, including in Scotland where the storm threatens disruption to areas still recovering from Storm Arwen.

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The strongest recorded gust so far in Northern Ireland was 122km/h (76mph) at Orlock, County Down.

On the north coast windspeeds of 114km/h (71mph) were recorded at Magilligan, County Londonderry.

Met Éireann said that counties Cork, Kerry and Clare are expected to face gusts of more than 130km/h (80mph), as well as a combination of coastal flooding, high tides and storm surges.

Irish national broadcaster RTÉ has reported that a gust of 113 km/h (70mph) was recorded at 06:00 on Sherkin Island, just off the coast of Cork and in Cork city, the River Lee spilled over onto the city’s quays earlier this morning.

The next warning level, status orange, will be in effect for a time across counties Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Wexford, Dublin, Louth, Wicklow and east Meath.

storm Barra hit uk

Shoppers in Belfast city centre attempt to shield from the wind and rain.
In Northern Ireland, the yellow alert for wind warns of a risk of spray and/or large waves in coastal areas.

The weather has led to the cancellation of some flights, with a further Met Office warning that driving conditions could be difficult.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has appealed for people to stay “well back from the water’s edge” due to the risk of large waves, and in any coastal emergency to dial 999 for the coastguard.

Sleet and snow has been experienced over the west of Northern Ireland.

The Irish Department of Education has advised that all schools in counties covered by an orange or red warning should shut on Tuesday.

Schools in other areas should keep up-to-date with weather warnings for any changes, the department said.

On Tuesday, the Irish Farmers’ Association urged its members to take every precaution to safeguard themselves and livestock during the storm.

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