Clare County Council is warning peoploe to avoid exposed coastal locations throughout Friday night and Saturday due to forecast stormy conditions.
A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for the Banner County as Storm Brian is expected to peak early on Saturday with winds at their strongest along the coast.
Met Éireann says southeast winds of mean speeds 55 to 65km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/h, will veer west or northwest and strengthen further during the night, reaching orange level with mean speeds of 65-80 km/h with gusts 110-130 km/h. Winds will ease from orange warning level to yellow warning level during Saturday evening.
It also warns there is a risk of coastal flooding, which has placed communities in West and North Clare on red alert.
In addition, a Status Yellow wind warning has been issued for the entire country with gusts of up to 110kmh forecast – and going higher in coastal parts of the south and west.
“An Atlantic depression is expected to track eastwards over parts of Ireland on Saturday. South to south-easterly winds on Friday night will veer north-westerly on Saturday and are expected to reach yellow warning criteria, at this stage. There is potential for mean wind speeds of 50 to 60km/h and gusts of 90 to 110km/h, especially in coastal counties,” Met Éireann said.
Meanwhile, gusts at Shannon reached 122km per hour on Monday, but the airport stayed open, despite a number of flight cancellations.
Three flights from the US landed as planned between 5am and 7am, while another three left Shannon for the UK between 7am and 8am but, as the winds picked up, there were a number of cancellations.
Among those that had to be cancelled were Aer Lingus regional services to and from Edinburgh, to and from Birmingham; Aer Lingus Heathrow services, both inbound and outbound; Ryanair services to and from Wroclaw, Faro and Lanzarote; United Airlines flights to and from Newark and a Delta service to New York. An inbound Delta flight had to divert to Dublin.
By Monday afternoon, things had begun to pick up and, shortly before 6pm, Shannon released a statement, expressing optimism. “Shannon Airport remained open throughout the day and experienced a number of flight cancellations and delays, but we are beginning to see a slow improvement in the weather conditions and are cautiously optimistic that the backlog of delayed flights will now begin to resume throughout the evening and tomorrow.
“The Aer Lingus London-Heathrow flight EI385 landed at Shannon at 4.13pm and a number of transatlantic services with Aer Lingus and Norwegian Air, delayed from earlier today, have been rescheduled for tonight.”
A statement on Tuesday morning said things were substantially better. “Shannon Airport staff worked throughout the night to assist airlines clear a backlog of flights delayed by Ophelia. A slow improvement in weather conditions from yesterday afternoon meant that delayed flights could begin again,” the statement read.
“Three transatlantic flights, to Boston, New York and Providence, which experienced disruption yesterday morning, departed the airport by 6pm yesterday evening. By 3am this morning, all flights, including six diversions due into Dublin from Nice, Rome, Madrid, Faro, Palma and Bari, had departed Shannon Airport. A Delta flight diverted to Dublin yesterday morning, due to the severe weather conditions, will now resume its journey from Shannon to New York JFK at 9.30am this morning.”
On Wednesday, an airport spokesperson paid tribute to the role played by workers during the extreme weather. “We are extremely grateful to the staff who, in very difficult conditions, went above and beyond to make sure passengers were safe and to look after their needs.”