Weather warning issued for strong winds

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Severe gales are forecast in Derry for Sunday as a yellow weather warning has been issued for Northern Ireland.

The warning, from the Met Office, states, “Severe gales are expected to affect some areas. Inland gusts of 50 to 60 mph could occur, perhaps most likely across western areas. Gusts around western coasts could locally reach around 70 mph.

“Strongest winds would reach Northern Ireland around dawn, and most areas by the end of the morning, before gradually subsiding from the west during the afternoon and evening.”

The heavy rain is also expected to continue in Derry across the weekend.

In the meantime, some flooding on roads has already been reported, with large surface waters reported at the Altnagelvin roundabout, Kilfennan Link roundabout, Temple Road, Foyle Road and across the Foyle Bridge.

A spokesperson for Transport NI, who are responding to the flooding queries, said, “There have been two lorries for emptying gullies and four staff out from 10am this morning responding to surface water in a number of locations in Derry City. These include Prehen Road, Glengalliagh road, Altnagelvin roundabout and Foyle Road.”

The Met Office reports rain will continue for most of Saturday, which will be heavy at times. Sunday will also be a wet morning, clearing to showers during the afternoon but westerly gales could become severe for a time later.

Persistent rain is expected to continue into the start of next week, with temperatures becoming very mild, before clearer colder weather returns later on Wednesday.

The Met Office also has the following advice for anyone travelling in heavy rain.

* Drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions and leave more space behind the vehicle in front as your stopping distance will increase due to the wet condition.

* Use dipped headlights so you are easily visible to other drivers.

* Only drive through standing water if you are sure it is shallow enough to do so - the kerb, if there is one, can be a good indicator. Drive slowly and steadily - aim to achieve walking speed - so that you do not create a bow wave in front of your vehicle. Let oncoming traffic pass first and ensure the way ahead is clear so you do not have to stop in the middle of the water.

* Try your brakes after leaving flood water

* Try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water.