Severe winds set to batter the country as Hurricane Ophelia gathers speed

There is strong speculation that Hurricane Ophelia will reach Ireland

Severe winds set to batter the country as Hurricane Ophelia gathers speed

Image: The Weather Channel

Severe winds are expected early next week – with a hurricane building up speed over the Atlantic.

Tropical Storm Ophelia has been upgraded to a category one hurricane but her path is currently unpredictable.

The Coastguard is not expecting any unusual weather this weekend - but has warned that high winds are common at this time of year.

Despite speculation that Ophelia has Ireland in its firing line, the Coastguard has not been alerted to any serious weather warnings.

Gerard O'Flynn is Coastguard Operations Manager:

“Well the current indications are that there will not be a storm around Ireland – but obviously weather conditions at this time of year can change quite quickly,” he said.

“At the moment the weather forecast is for gale-force or near gale-force conditions.

“All mariners will be aware of that – but that would not be exceptionally bad weather for experienced people at this time of the year.

Gerald Fleming, head of forecasting with Met Éireann, said that – like with all major weather events that happen in other areas – they have to look at the possibility of what impact it might have:

“At the moment because it is four days away, there are a lot of possibilities as to how this might evolve,” he said.

“So we are anxious to keep a good eye on this but be aware at the same time that it could be a complete non-event or it could be a severe event.”

As a precaution Mr O'Flynn had this advice piece of advice for the public:

“Well when it comes to anything to do with the coast we always say to people, ‘stay back, stay high and stay dry,’” he said.

“Obviously at this time of the year sea conditions are changing very quickly.

“We have reducing daylight and on top of that sea temperatures are dropping so all the normal conditions applying to safety on the sea would apply.”