Northern Ireland

Weather warning: Winds and thunder set for weekend

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Media captionHail and thundery downpours are expected later on Friday and Saturday

A thunderstorm warning is in place for Northern Ireland, as more heavy downpours are expected into the weekend.

Extreme weather conditions bringing more rain will possibly cause travel disruption and flooding.

Winds of up to 60mph (100km/h) are forecast for parts of the Channel coast, southern England and west Wales.

On Friday, heavy rain and strong winds knocked down trees and caused traffic delays.

More downpours are expected into Saturday as an unseasonably deep area of low pressure originating from the sub-tropics brings warmth, moisture and possible lightning strikes.

Some places could see an inch (2.5cm) of rain or more.

Image copyright Met Office
Image caption Yellow weather warnings are in place for Friday (left) and Saturday

Deep depressions are not unusual in autumn and winter months but are rare in August, particularly when accompanied by strong winds.

While unusually strong for this time of year, the winds hitting Northern Ireland are not as severe as those lashing England and Wales.

How to avoid being hit by lightning

  • Take shelter and stay away from anything that conducts, as lightning will be attracted to objects that conduct the best, not those that are necessarily the tallest
  • If caught outside in a thunderstorm, stay away from trees and metallic objects such as fences, poles, bicycles, umbrellas and even prams
  • As a conductor, water can be dangerous too, so avoid activities like fishing, sailing or golf - golf umbrellas and buggies famously attract lightning!
  • Being inside a car with closed doors and windows is safer. Despite being metallic, the metal acts like a Faraday cage, conducting electricity around passengers inside
  • Even indoors it is wise to take precautions - metal household goods such as taps can also conduct
  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances and try not to use phones

In the Republic of Ireland, thousands of homes, farms and businesses were left without power overnight on Thursday as strong winds struck.

As many as 10,000 customers were without electricity, but most of these had been re-connected by mid-morning on Friday, RTÉ news reported.

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