Status orange weather warning issued to three counties ahead of "intense" thunderstorms and downpours
Batten down the hatches.
Met Éireann has upgraded its thunderstorm and rain warning to Status Orange for Clare, Galway and north Tipperary.
Earlier on Friday, the forecaster issued a Status Yellow thunderstorm and rain warning for the whole country, which remains in effect until 8pm.
However, it is now reporting that a line of "intense thunderstorms" will move through parts of Clare, Galway and north Tipperary this afternoon and early evening,
With the warning valid from 4pm to 7pm on Friday, these thunderstorms will bring lightning, hail and "torrential downpours".
The forecaster said they will also cause localised flooding in places, as well as very hazardous driving conditions.
⚠️Galway, Clare & north Tipperary upgraded to Status Orange thunderstorm and rain warning⛈️⚠️
Take care as sudden heavy downpours of rain and hail may occur as the thunderstorms cross the country.
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) July 23, 2021
The weather updates come following a Status Yellow high-temperature warning being issued for Ireland earlier in the week. That remains in place until 9am on Saturday.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) this afternoon, meanwhile, urged drivers and motorcyclists to take extra care using the roads as the country's heatwave ends and more rain is expected in the coming days.
It said that during a prolonged spell of dry weather, a build-up of oil and rubber deposit develops on roads. As the weather then breaks, these deposits mix with rainwater, resulting in greasy road surfaces.
The RSA states that in such conditions, the road becomes "hazardous", increasing stopping distances and the risk of a skid.
As such, the advice for drivers and motorcycle riders is to "slow down and increase breaking distance".
Further advice on using the road in severe weather can be found at the RSA’s website here.