Meteorologists frank about storm risk in Londonderry and Donegal

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Meteorologists have warned Londonderry to batten down the hatches in preparation for Storm Frank making landfall in Donegal on Tuesday afternoon.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning (status yellow) for the Londonderry area warning residents to ‘be aware’ that the weather may change or worsen, leading to disruption over the next few days.

Met Éireann, meanwhile, has issued an even more severe weather warning (status orange) for residents of Donegal.

It’s warning Storm Frank may significantly affect people in the Donegal area.

“The issue of an Orange level weather warning implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions,” it says.

The warnings follow heavy rainfall in Londonderry on Monday during which fire fighters had to rescue a woman after she became trapped in her car in flooding in the Rosemount area.

Storm Frank will be viewed with some trepidation across large swathes of Londonderry, Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh, which have been severely affected by flooding during recent storms.

Locally, Strabane and Clady, suffered particularly badly during flooding events in November and December.

Elsewhere in this paper it’s reported that over half the homes and businesses in Northern Ireland are at significant risk of flooding from heavy rainfall or their coastal or riverside location and that this is only going to get worse as a result of climate change.

Before Christmas Séamus Walsh, Head of Climatology and Observations, Met Éireann, warned that adaptation and mitigation strategies need to be put in place across the island to deal with the effects of climate change.

He said: “Over the last 30 years or so rainfall amounts have increased by approximately five per cent, and there is some evidence of an increase in the number of days with heavy rain in the West and North West.

“Climate projections for rainfall have greater uncertainty than for temperature, they indicate that overall rainfall amounts in Ireland might decrease slightly, summers are likely to become drier while winters may be wetter especially in the west and north.

“There are also indications of an increase in the number of very wet days (days with rainfall greater than 20mm).

“These projections, applied to river flows, show an increased risk of winter flooding, an increased risk of short duration ‘flash’ floods and to possible water shortages in summer months due to higher temperatures and lower rainfall. The rise in sea levels will make low lying coastal areas more prone to flooding, especially from storm surges.”