Storm Abigail moving in

Waves break over a pilot boat during a previous storm out at sea. (Chris Ison/PA Wire)
Waves break over a pilot boat during a previous storm out at sea. (Chris Ison/PA Wire)

A status orange weather has been issued ahead of the arrival of Storm Abigail, with high winds stormy conditions predicted to hit Derry and Donegal from this afternoon.

Forecasters have predicted the north west of Ireland along with the western coast of Scotland will be among the worst areas, with winds here of up to 120kms an hour in coastal areas.

Met Eireann today forecast southerly winds “becoming very strong and gusty in most places, and reaching gale force strength on exposed coasts”.

The Irish national weather body predicts: “Rain in the west will spread to all areas by early afternoon with some heavy falls in places. A clearance to scattered showers, some heavy and possibly thundery, will follow later in the afternoon.

“Winds will veer southwesterly with the clearance while remaining very strong in the west and north and in all coastal areas but will gradually decrease elsewhere.”

Gusts in northern coastal regions are forecast to remain “very strong” this evening and into tonight with temperatures set to plummet.

Met Eireann have stated: “Showers of rain or hail will affect the western half of the country. Turning cold despite the strong winds with lowest temperatures between 2 and 4 degrees.”

And there’s more of the same tomorrow with more cold and windy showers of rain or hail along with thundery downpours in places.

The UK’s Met Office is similarly predicting heavy rain and winds moving in across the north of Ireland, with thunderstorms expected.

“Winds picking up strong in the afternoon, gale or severe gale,” heading into “hail and thunder and turning wintry over the highest ground by the end of the night”.