Storm Kathleen: Orange warnings in effect as public warned to stay away from the coast

Cork, Kerry, Galway, Waterford and Mayo at second highest weather alert as storm moves in from Atlantic ocean

Orange wind warnings have been issued for multiple counties across the country on Saturday with Storm Kathleen approaching.

The orange warnings have been issued for Cork, Kerry and Waterford, in affect from 7am to 2pm, and Galway and Mayo from 9am to 6pm. A yellow wind warning is in place nationwide from the early hours of Saturday until 8pm.

Storm Kathleen is a significant low-pressure system tracking off the west coast which will bring strong southerly winds and damaging gusts across the country on Saturday.

The National Directorate for Fire & Emergency Management (NDFEM) crisis management team convened a Met Éireann briefing on Friday morning to assess possible impacts from the storm.


The potential impacts of Storm Kathleen are likely to include very difficult travel conditions, fallen trees, some power outages, coastal flooding and wave overtopping.

Speaking after the meeting, Keith Leonard, national director of the NDFEM advised the public to “stay away from all coastal areas for the duration of the Met Éireann warnings”.

“Strong winds can make driving conditions hazardous – especially for the more vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and high sided vehicles – and road users should pay particular attention to the risk posed by fallen trees and flying debris”, he said.

“Importantly, I would remind people that it is critical that they never ever touch or approach fallen wires. Be sure to stay safe and stay clear of fallen or damaged electricity wires and, if you encounter any, do contact ESB Networks at 1800 372 999″.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking road users to exercise caution while using the roads on Saturday.

The Orange wind warnings are for Cork, Kerry and Waterford from 7am to 2pm and Mayo and Galway from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, when Storm Kathleen will bring gale-force southerly winds.

Motorists are advised to beware of objects being blown out on to the road and to watch out for fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.

Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds. Motorists should also drive with dipped headlights at all times and slow down to allow a greater braking distance between themselves and the vehicle in front in wet weather conditions.

Pedestrians are advised to walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.

Cyclists should ensure that they and their bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back) and by wearing high visibility clothing.

Meanwhile, a number of events have been cancelled in Kerry in advance of Storm Kathleen and visitor attractions in the Killarney National Park will close on Saturday.

Kerry County Council and KWD Recycling, the company sponsoring the annual clean up, have asked those intending to participate in the annual County Clean Up on Saturday not to hold any local clean-ups this weekend

“No local clean-ups should take place this weekend because of the status orange weather warning associated with Storm Kathleen,” the council said.

The period during which participating groups can collect litter has been extended by a week until Sunday, April 14th, after which date any waste collected will be disposed of.

“Tidy Towns groups and other volunteers who had planned to take part in the County Clean Up on Saturday should therefore carry out their clean-ups at another time after the weekend when it is safe to do so,” a council spokesman said.

Killarney House & Gardens as well as Muckross House will be closed all day on Saturday in light of the orange weather warning.

Road users in Kerry are urged to consider falling trees and branches and care should be taken in coastal areas, the public are warned.

Sporting fixtures are also expected to be cancelled on Saturday.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times