Huge Waves Likely As Gales Lash Ireland

There's a major weather alert this weekend as the west coast of Ireland may be set to experience some of the highest waves seen in years.

Both the Irish Marine Institute and Met Éireann have warned the conditions - particularly on Saturday afternoon - will be so bad as to be hazardous to ships and fishing vessels.

It will also be dangerous for those walking close to the shoreline, or fishing from the shore in exposed areas.

The Irish weather office warned that waves of up to 14 metres (45') in height are possible along the whole west coast tomorrow afternoon. They said that the last time waves of this size were recorded was on January 17th, 2005.

"Similar conditions could occur this weekend if the weather systems develop as predicted," a spokesman for the Marine Institute said.

"When a broad area of very low pressure sits in the Atlantic to the north of Ireland, as will happen on this Friday and Saturday, waves are able to build over a considerable distance - which could lead to these extreme waves arriving in Irish waters."

Met Éireann itself issued a gale warning at 4am on Friday that southwest winds will reach gale force on coasts from Fair Head to Carnsore Point to Valentia and the Irish Sea.

It also said westerly gales or strong gales will develop tonight on all Irish coastal waters.

Met Eireann and the Marine Institute said all ships and anyone close to the shoreline "should take great care, especially on Saturday".

Dr Glenn Nolan, of the Marine Institute, said: "It's quite unusual. The last time we would have had waves close to this height would have been in early 2005 and before that in 2000.

"It's not something that occurs on an ongoing basis."

Dr Nolan warned that the entire west coast, from Cork up to Donegal and round into the Irish Sea, would be affected.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 June 2019
Northern Irish Distilleries Spark Renaissance Of Irish Whiskey
Northern Irish distilleries have helped fuel a renaissance of Irish Whiskey, with exports worth £25.6 million in 2018. Irish Whiskey is the fastest growing premium spirit category in the world, with exports set to double to 12 million 9-litre cases by 2020 according to the Irish Whiskey Association.
13 July 2021
Irish Rugby Announce Autumn Internationals
Ireland are set to face New Zealand in Dublin as part of a series of Autumn Internationals. The team will play Japan, New Zealand and Argentina during their busy autumn schedule at the Aviva Stadium. The Japan tie will kick off the fixtures on Saturday 06 November, followed by New Zealand on Saturday 13 and Argentina on Sunday 21.
07 July 2021
Passport Fees For Irish-Born NI Residents 'Indefensible'
The current fees for Ireland-born Northern Ireland residents to obtain a UK passport have been described as "indefensible" by the cross-party Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
10 May 2021
Call For No Further Delays On Minority Language And Culture Legislation
The Alliance Party is calling for no further delays on minority language and culture legislation being brought forward by the Executive, despite ongoing leadership changes in Unionist parties.
16 April 2021
SDLP Slams Foster Over Failure To Fulfill Ministerial Requirement
An SDLP Minister has hit out after the DUP leader Arlene Foster failed to fulfill her Ministerial requirement by nominating a Unionist Minister to attend an NSMC Transport meeting. The party's Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon resisted the DUP move to undermine the Good Friday Agreement by obstructing the north south institutions.