Storm Ciara, the first storm of the year, is forecast to hit Ireland on Saturday night and reach the UK and northern mainland Europe on Sunday. Ciara is set to unleash heavy rain and strong gales.
Met Éireann, the Irish national meteorological service, has issued a yellow wind warning for the entire country. As of now, the Status Yellow alert will remain in place until the early hours of Sunday.
According to the service’s website, Ciara will bring winds “mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts up to 130km/h.”
A separate Status Orange marine warning was issued with regards to strong gales developing on the Irish Sea as well as on all Irish coastal waters Saturday and Sunday.
The weather warnings have led to the cancellation of the opening ceremony for Galway’s 2020 European Capital of Culture status.
Storm Ciara is expected to hit Belgium on Sunday.
The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium has issued a national orange wind alert from Sunday early afternoon to Monday morning.
The institute has also issued a yellow rain warning for the region of Wallonia, and a yellow storm surge alert for the coastal areas.
The National Railway Company said the bad weather conditions could affect railway traffic, but told travellers they will try to limit disruptions.
The country is facing an orange code for the whole day of Sunday.
For the first half of the day, high winds will reach 75/100 km/h, while in the second they will increase up to 100/120 km/h in the northwest.
Experts forecast that the strongest gusts will disappear on Sunday night, but point out that high winds will continue to batter the country.
On Saturday the Dutch football association called off all of Sunday’s matches in the top-flight due to Storm Ciara’s approaching.
The Royal Netherlands Football Association said in a statement that, after discussions with clubs, police, and municipalities, it “concluded that because of the expected weather conditions the safety of supporters and players cannot be guaranteed.”
In Germany, where the storm is known as “Sabine”, Bundesliga football game Borussia Monchengladbach vs Cologne was called off on Sunday, as storms were expected to batter the region.
Borussia Monchengladbach said the game itself was not likely to be affected, but fans could face a dangerous journey home.
The storm had already affected Saturday’s rugby game between England and Scotland in the Six Nations.