Ireland & UK - Ophelia storm alert

16 Oct 2017

Hurricane Ophelia weakened to a Category 1 storm in the Atlantic Ocean on October 15. The system is moving along a north-northeasterly track and is forecast to make landfall in County Cork, Ireland around early afternoon on October 16. Models indicate Ophelia will then transit over Northern Ireland, UK and weaken to near-tropical storm strength before moving over Scotland, UK on October 17. 

Ophelia will bring strong winds and heavy rainfall to Ireland and western areas of the UK, including Northern Ireland and Scotland on October 16 and 17. Gale-force winds are forecast to begin across southern Ireland early on October 16 and then spread northward. Meteorologists predict that hurricane-force winds will affect southern Ireland on the afternoon of October 16, and then extend inland. Rainfall accumulations of 5-7 cm (2-3 inches) are possible in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland; localized amounts could reach 10 cm (4 inches) in some areas. Storm surge is likely to produce coastal flooding in parts of southwestern Ireland near Ophelia's landfall. Authorities have issued the following weather warnings: 


The Irish Meteorological Service has provided an updated Red wind warning for Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Mayo, Waterford, and Wexford counties. This advisory indicates that winds in excess of 80 kph (50 mph) - with gusts of up to 130 kph (80 mph) - are expected during the specified time frame. These conditions have the potential to cause damage and disruptions, flooding, and high seas. Officials issued an Orange wind warning for the rest of the country. The orange advisory indicates that winds between 65-80 kph (40-50 mph) are expected, though they will likely be less severe in the country's central and eastern areas. Officials have also issued an Orange rainfall warning for Clare, Connacht, Cork, Donegal, Kerry, Limerick, Wexford, and Waterford counties, advising the public that heavy rainfall and localized flooding is likely, especially in coastal areas. 


The UK Met office has issued an Amber wind warning for Northern Ireland, advising that gusts of 88-104 kph (55-65 mph) are likely across the area. Officials have maintained Yellow wind warnings for  southwestern England, northern England, Northern Ireland, western and southern Scotland, and western Wales; the warnings advise that winds of 80-95 kph (50-60 mph) are likely, with possible gusts of up to 130 kph (80 mph) in coastal areas. 

Ophelia will likely prompt significant disruptions in Ireland and the western UK. Fallen trees, debris, and flooding in the affected areas could cause ground transport disruptions. Flight cancellations, diversions, and delays are also possible at airports in the affected areas, including: Dublin (DUB), Cork (ORK), and Shannon (SNN) in the Republic of Ireland; and Aberdeen International (ABZ), Belfast International (BFS), Edinburgh (EDI), and Glasgow (GLA) in the UK. Downed power lines could also lead to prolonged outages following the weather system's passage. Strong winds could prompt authorities to close bridges in exposed areas; operating high-profile vehicles could be especially hazardous during the storm. The storm will probably prompt authorities to restrict ferry and port operations, especially in Belfast, Glasgow, Holyhead, Limerick, and Liverpool. Maritime operations in the Irish Sea could be postponed or canceled as the storm approaches. 

Further assistance

If you require emergency assistance while travelling, please contact Chubb Insurance Assistance. The contact details are listed below:

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Chubb Assistance phone +61 2 8907 5995 and quote UQ policy number 01PP529201. Reverse phone charge is available.

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