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High winds off Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Photo by: Irish Times

Violent winds to lash Ireland as hurricane conditions approach

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High winds off Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Photo by: Irish Times

Gale force winds not seen since Hurricane Katia are battering Ireland as heavy snow and rain add to the confusion.

The Irish weather service Met Eireann have issued three severe weather warnings and have also warned about violent winds across the country.

Plummeting temperatures and snow showers are also prevalent in the West and North of the country.

The gale force winds are currently battering the North-West and North coasts but are also expect to hit Leinster this afternoon.

“There is a violent storm in our sea area and we are expecting very strong winds,” a Met Eireann spokeswoman said.

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The forecasters predict wind speeds will touch on violent storm-force 11 but will fall short of hurricane status.

“There is a depression moving on the north-west of the country and the strongest winds will be near the centre of that, which will be in north-west Donegal and on the west coast in general,” the spokeswoman added.

The West will experience the worst of the winds later today with snow and sleet also possible as temperatures drop to as low as -2C.

The unsettled weather looks set to continue into early next week.

Scotland is also experiencing the stormy weather with schools expected to close as Britain braces itself for winds of up to 130kph.

Lindsay Dovey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said:“There will be gusts of 100mph in north-west Scotland and over high ground.

“Gusts of up to 70mph are expected in northern England and north-west Wales. Across central England and East Anglia, we’ll have gusts of 55 to 60mph and up to 55mph in the south of the UK.”

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