Storm Fionn to batter the country in coming hours

Winds are expected to strengthen during Thursday

There is a Yellow wind warning in place for Galway, Munster and Leinster until tomorrow - with an orange gale force warning for eastern coastal counties.

According to forecasters, this evening and for a time tonight, storm Fionn will bring very strong westerly winds to Atlantic coastal counties with mean wind speeds of 65 to 80 km/h and gusts of up to 120 km/hr.

SNOW storms are expected to batter Scotland until the end of the week after blizzards and thunder snow brought widespread disruption yesterday.

Galway City Council said it was planning to close an area of Salthill Promenade for the high tide this morning as a measure against possible flooding.

The main accumulations look likely for the Pennines and North York Moors with other parts of northern England and N.Ireland seeing a covering overnight, maybe just into Norfolk.

ESB Networks recorded several faults across the country, but a spokesman said there was no "huge increase" in customers losing power supply on Tuesday evening due to the storm.

Close to 150,000 customers were left without power after winds gusting to 134kmh ripped through the United Kingdom, toppling trees, damaging homes and bringing rail service and traffic to a halt as lorries jack-knifed on motorways.

Status yellow wind warning issued for Co Louth
A further few centimetres of snow is likely across some of the high ground in western Scotland, the Met Office said. However, as the morning moves on, Met Éireann says that we'll see some sun break through the clouds.

A tree has fallen over in the heavy winds and is blocking Belstead Road in Ipswich.

First Met Éireann was criticised by Channel 4 weather presenter Liam Dutton for naming Storm Fionn - which he dismissed as "a squeeze in the isobars". AA Roadwatch reported hazardous conditions in parts of Monaghan, Cavan, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Donegal.

The conditions are expected to go further downhill on Wednesday night as a weather system rapidly intensifies as it hurtles across the Atlantic.

Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha, speaking at the Cold Weather Initiative launch in December, said, the winter months can be a hard time for many people who are vulnerable, alone and isolated.

Road users and pedestrians are being urged to exercise extreme caution as snow, frost and ice make for treacherous conditions.

"Traffic is now flowing northbound, albeit slowly, and we have a few hours ahead where we don't expect any more snow fall".

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