Storm Ciara: NI braced for most violent storm since 2013 - 'danger to life' alerts - frequent lightning strikes, heavy rain, snow and possibility of mobile phone signal and power outages

Northern Ireland looks set to feel the full power of Storm Ciara when it arrives here over the weekend.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 4:56 pm

There are currently four Met Office weather warnings in place for Northern Ireland.

The four weather warnings are as follows: yellow status weather warning of wind - valid between 12:00pm and 11:59pm on Saturday; yellow status weather warning of rain - valid from 3:00pm on Saturday through to 12:00pm on Sunday; yellow status weather warning of wind - valid from 12:00am to 11:59pm on Sunday and yellow status weather warning of snow and wind - valid from 12:00am on Monday to 11:59pm on Tuesday.

“It is going to be more significant than the other two storms we have seen this season,” said Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge.

“In terms of widespread effect, the last one it is on a par with was in 2013.

"Everybody will feel some effects from it," he added.

The first sign of Ciara's arrival in Northern Ireland will appear on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday

The first of four weather warnings becomes active at 12:00pm on Saturday.

The Met Office has warned against an area of strong winds that could see gusts as strong as 75mph around the Northern Ireland coastline.

Gusts of 50 to 60 mph are expected widely inland with exposed coasts and hills seeing gusts of around 70 mph for a time,

The Met Office has a second weather warning for heavy rain in place for Saturday.

Storm Ciara will begin to arrive in Northern Ireland on Saturday.
Storm Ciara will begin to arrive in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

It's estimated that 20-40 mm of rain will fall quite widely, with a few hilly areas receiving 60-80 mm, all within about 18 hours.

Poor travel conditions will be exacerbated by the very strong winds.

Sunday

The third weather warning is for wind and it's at this time that Northern Ireland will feel the full brunt of the storm.

Heavy snowfall is forecast for some parts of Northern Ireland on Monday and Tuesday.

The veracity of the storm is of such concern that the Met Office has issued two danger to life warnings - one concerning flying debris and a second concerning large waves around the coastline.

The Met Office has also said there is a possibility of power outages, mobile phone signal interference and some roads could close.

Storm Ciara will be widespread at this stage of the weekend with most parts of Northern Ireland seeing gusts of up 60mph.

It's also possible that some coastal areas could see wind gusts as strong as 70mph.

This weather warning is valid until 11:59pm on Sunday.

Monday

The first weather warning becomes active at 12:00pm on Saturday and the fourth and final weather warning is valid up until 11:59pm on Tuesday.

The fourth and final weather warning for Northern Ireland is for snow and wind and is valid from 12:00am on Monday through to 11:59pm on Tuesday.

Unlike the previous three weather warnings this alert applies to all counties in Northern Ireland except Fermanagh and Armagh.

"Frequent and heavy snow showers will affect the region throughout Monday and Tuesday," reads the warning on the Met Office website.

"Snow showers will mainly be over high ground, giving slight accumulations of 1 to 3 cm above 150 metres and 5-10 cm above 300 metres."

The Met Office is also warning against strong winds of up 60mph, blizzard conditions and frequent lightning strikes which could interrupt power supplies.

Stay up to date with the weather forecast and weather warnings in your area by visiting www.metoffice.gov.uk

The Met Office has also warned against frequent lightning strikes on Monday and Tuesday too.