Members of the public have been urged to heed the advice of the Irish Coast Guard as Met Éireann has issued a serious weather warning for Leitrim, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.
Stormy weather is forecast in coastal Connaught and west Ulster counties, with severe southwest winds with mean speeds of 70 to 90km/h and damaging gusts of 120 to 150km/h, strongest in exposed coastal areas. Very high seas also being predicted.
The forecast is cold tonight with hail, sleet and snow showers overnight.
The Coast Guard strongly advises the public not to go out on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or any other coastal areas during the inclement weather. Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas. These waves can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline.
Manager of the Irish Coast Guard, Declan Geoghegan said, “It is important to be especially vigilant over the festive period where people are engaged in outdoor activities in areas and environments they may not be familiar with and the onset of inclement weather ever present.”
Remember to monitor weather broadcasts when travelling and heed the advice of the RSA on road use during severe weather and high winds.
Specific advice from the Coast Guard is:
• The public is advised to stay away from the shoreline and to avoid engaging in water sports
• Do not venture out unnecessarily when gale force conditions are forecast
• Avoid exposed coasts, cliff paths and coastal areas during inclement weather this week
• Owners of small vessels and fishing vessels in coastal waters should seek shelter and secure them properly with moorings.
If you do see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the shore, cliffs, lakes or rivers dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.