The National Emergency Coordination Group is to meet tomorrow in advance of Storm Jorge which is expected to bring torrential rain and high winds to Ireland.

This is the third named storm in one month, and with land already saturated and rivers already very high, there are serious concerns of widespread additional flood damage.

Met Éireann pointed out today that rainfall amounts in ten of its 25 weather stations have already set new records for the month of February.

The Group consists of all Government departments, local authorities, gardaí, the Army, Civil Defence, Emergency services, ESB, Irish Water and other public utilities.

A Status Orange wind warning for western parts of the country has been issued ahead of the arrival of the storm this weekend.

The counties affected are Clare, Galway, Mayo, Kerry, Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo.

Met Éireann has forecast winds with gusts of up to 130km/h in these areas of the country.

The warning is valid from Saturday until 3am on Sunday.

Severe winds are expected during Saturday associated with Storm Jorge, named by the Spanish meteorological service.

Southwest winds will quickly veer west and later northwest and will reach average speeds of 65-80km/h.

The winds could be higher in exposed areas, with an increased risk of coastal flooding.

A Status Yellow Wind warning is in place for the rest of the country with gusts of up to 110km/h forecast.

Strong winds will extend across the country during Saturday morning and persist through the rest of the day and into the night.

Southwest winds veering westerly with average speeds of 50-65km/h are expected.

The Status Yellow wind warning is also valid until 3am on Sunday.

Met Éireann has also issued a Status Yellow rainfall warning for Munster, Connacht and Donegal.

It is expected that there will be rainfall accumulations of 20-30mm during tomorrow and Saturday, reaching as high as 40-50mm in parts of Kerry.

There is a continuing risk of flooding due to already saturated ground and elevated river levels.

The forecaster says the rainfall warning is valid until 11.59pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the UK Met Office has issued a Status Yellow wind and rain warning for Northern Ireland that will see a spell of strong winds move northeast across a large swathe of the UK through Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara have already hit Ireland this month causing damage across the country.

Storm Dennis recorded gusts of up to 120km/h at Mace Head in Galway and Met Éireann said that the strongest winds were on exposed hills and coasts.

The storm caused a 80-metre cargo ship to run aground near Ballycotton in east Cork.

The ESB said that at one point there were 18,000 premises without electricity.

Storm Ciara hit Ireland with winds of 130km/h and a number of flights were cancelled to and from Dublin and Shannon airports.


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