||| Hurricane Ophelia |||
Though our US readers would not be shocked anymore when they read a Category 3 hurricane is on the way. A probably arms-shrugging movement meaning ‘one more’ would be the likely result. However in European waters the sighting of a hurricane is quite rare, and certainly if it is set to make landfall over Ireland and parts of the UK.
Flights to Dublin from the European continent are cancelled, schools, government buildings and courts will remain closed for the day as Hurricane Ophelia is preparing to hit and bring winds of up to 80mph.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">PLOT TWIST:After tracking <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HurricaneIrma?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HurricaneIrma</a>, an Irish family braces for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HurricaneOphelia?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HurricaneOphelia</a>, a rare storm hitting Europe.They own a home in SWFL <a href="https://t.co/ng1kX6aR3m">pic.twitter.com/ng1kX6aR3m</a></p>— John-Carlos Estrada (@JohnCarlos_WINK) <a href="https://twitter.com/JohnCarlos_WINK/status/919771793921069057?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 16, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The Irish Department of Education and Skills said the decision to keeps schools closed had been made "following discussions with members of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and in light of the advice from Met Eireann on this unprecedented storm."
Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Mr Leo Varadkar stated that the army would be sent to red weather alert areas including Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.
Meanwhile the UK Meteorological Office has issued severe weather alerts whilst warning Irish citizens of potential power cuts. Transport services are preparing for major disruption.
Mr Gerald Fleming, head of its general forecasting division to the Met Office, told Irish broadcaster RTE: "The track is very consistent [and] has been for days.
The strongest winds will be along the south coast. It'll track up the centre again, going up along the western part of the country."
So far, Hurricane Ophelia has set the record for the most easterly category three hurricane in the Atlantic of the year.
A category three hurricane is defined as having wind speeds of between 110mph and 130mph and can cause major damage. The Met office is still forecasting that Ophelia will drop to a Category 1 when it makes landfall.