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Thunderstorm warning extended for 14 counties – The Irish Times

A status orange weather warning has been extended as the current heatwave ends with thunderstorms and flash flooding across the country.

The heatwave ended on Sunday night with thunder, lightning and flash flooding in many places. One of the worst affected areas was Castlerea, Co Roscommon where 20mm of rain (almost an inch) fell in just half an hour causing flash flooding in the town. Carron in Co Clare also got 20mm in less than an hour.

There was also heavy rain and lightning in Co Limerick while lightning was also reported in many other locations including counties Meath, Galway, Donegal, Sligo, Cavan and Louth.

A lightning strike in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny cut supplies to 5,000 customers at 5am. Power was restored at 6.30pm.

The counties of Laois, Offaly, Kildare and Dublin have been added to the orange weather warning currently in operation and it has been extended to 10pm on Monday night.

Met Éireann forecaster Emer Flood said there will be “heavy torrential downpours” in the areas covered by the orange warning which is the whole of Munster and the counties of Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Dublin, Kildare, Laois and Offaly.

These accumulations could be as much as 20mm in an hour.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be mostly dry, but there will be heavy rain across the country on Thursday and on Friday and it looks unsettled into the weekend.

The rain will be welcomed by farmers and gardeners as a prolonged dry spell has left many places in near drought. Soil moisture deficits (the amount of rain needed to bring the soil up to normal saturation levels) is between 50mm and 80mm in the east of the country. Elsewhere, deficits generally range from 10 to 50 mm.

The rainfall will decrease the soil moisture deficits, but they will remain below normal.

In Northern Ireland, the UK Met Office has implemented a thunderstorm warning for Monday after a change in air pressure led to dramatic showers.

Power cuts and delays and cancellations in trains and buses are predicted, while spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions for motorists.

Greg Dewhurst, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said the week would start off quite humid before cooling down later on.

Drivers have been urged to drive carefully amid predictions of flash flooding. There’s a risk of aquaplaning as the water won’t drain away quite as quickly. The risk of slipping and sliding is also greater.

A spokesman for the AA also warned about slippery surfaces on the roads as a result of rubber build-up from tires. — with PA

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