Strong winds but warmer weather ahead as ex-hurricane Helene hits

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Met Eireann has issued a rainfall warning ahead of Storm Helene's passing over Ireland, as they predict heavy rain tonight in counties Donegal, West Galway, North Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.

But Helene is still due to bring unseasonably warm weather in London and the south east due as the low pressure draws up warm air from the south.

But the weather system will have weakened by the time it hits the western side of the United Kingdom, becoming more of a storm, the Met Office said. It comes after Sunday's United Kingdom hotspot arrived in Cambridge which got up to 75.7F (24.3C).

"South to southwest winds will reach mean speeds of 50 to 65 km/hr with guests of 90 to 110 km/hr, strongest in southern, western and northern coastal areas".

Met Office spokesman Mike Reading added: 'One of the dangers being taken into account is that trees are still in leaf.

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Latest reports show that the storm, which will weaken to ex-tropical status this afternoon, is now located to the north of the Azores at approximately 43°N and 28°W.

BBC weather presenter Behnaz Akhgar said winds of 60mph (97km/h) battered The Mumbles in Swansea overnight.

The weather forecast for Wednesday is not part of Storm Helene, which will have moved on.

On the West Coast of Scotland, ferry sailings were disrupted on a number of CalMac routes and the ferry operator said on Sunday some services were "liable to disruption and cancellation at short notice".

Its warning, in force between 6pm on Monday and midday on Tuesday, said "very strong winds" could pose the risk of "injuries and danger to life" because of flying debris.

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Gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour are possible inland, with some exposed areas up to 75mph, which could cause serious damage to infrastructure and risk to life.

Meanwhile in the Republic of Ireland, people are being warned of flooding.

There are three warnings now in place.

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More generally today, rain will be persistent and often heavy today in parts of Connacht and west Ulster.

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