The West coast is being battered by gusts of up to 130 km/ hour this morning, as Storm Ali tracks close to the west and northwest coast, before moving quickly eastwards during the morning.

Thousands of homes are without power supplies, while trees are down in a number of areas of Mayo, and motorists are urged to watch out for fallen debris.

A Status Orange wind warning has been in place since 5am this morning, and has since been upgraded to a severe warning - Met Eireann says south to southwest winds veering westerly will reach average speeds of between 65 and 80 km/h with gusts of between 110 and 130 km/h for a time - gusts of over 130 km/h are possible in coastal regions of the west and northwest. Strong winds will be along Atlantic coasts at first before moving eastwards later this morning.

The severe wind warning is in place until 12 noon across Connacht and 12 other counties.

Among the strongest gusts so far recorded this morning are gusts of 130 km/h at Mace Head in Galway, 107 km/h in Belmullet and 106 km/h off Newport.

A status orange gale warning is also in place this morning.

Some 20,000 customers nationally are without power supplies this morning, according to ESB Networks.

This includes about 2,000 customers in Castlebar, 3,500 in Sligo, 2,000 in Galway and 1,400 in Athlone as a result of over 50 individual faults.

ESB Networks are deploying crews to the various sites, but they cannot start to repair the faults until the high winds have passed.

A number of flights have been disrupted at Dublin Airport this morning due to Storm Ali,while Irish Ferries have cancelled a number of sailings to and from Dublin and Holyhead this morning.

The second day of the National Ploughing Championships in Co Offaly won't get underway until the later time of 11am due to the adverse weather -that's two hours later than scheduled.



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