Category 3 Hurricane Ophelia Forecast to Hit Ireland Monday, Travel Waivers Issued

Oct 14, 2017

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The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has seen incredible destruction, and has been record-setting in so many ways. Yet again, it’s delivering another wild storm. Located in the eastern Atlantic 220 miles south of the Azores, Hurricane Ophelia just strengthened into a “major” hurricane (Category 3) with top sustained winds of 115 mph. Ophelia sets the record for the furthest east a major hurricane has ever developed or been tracked.

Moving quickly to the northeast, the powerful hurricane now has Ireland in its crosshairs. Hurricane Ophelia is forecast to make landfall in the country on Monday as a post-tropical cyclone packing hurricane-force winds.

In preparation for the storm, the Met Éireann — the Irish National Meteorological Service — has issued its highest possible “Status Red” severe weather warning. The alert warns Irish residents in Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork and Kerry of “structural damage and disruption, with dangerous marine conditions due to high seas and potential flooding.” The warning runs from 9am local time Monday to 3am local time Tuesday.

But, it’s not only Ireland that’s going to be affected by the storm. Strong winds will impact much of the British Isles:

Delays and possible cancellations of transatlantic flights are likely due to the storm’s passage through the airspace around the British Isles, vital to transatlantic aircraft. Flights to/from Ireland are the most likely to be impacted, but flights originating or terminating in the United Kingdom might also be affected.

As of 7:40pm Eastern Time, the following airlines have released travel waivers:

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: October 16
  • Airports affected: Dublin, Ireland (DUB)
  • Must have bought your ticket by October 14
  • Rebook travel anytime between October 15-19
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

United

  • Travel dates: October 16-17
  • Airports affected: Dublin, IE (DUB); Edinburgh, GB (EDI); Glasgow, GB (GLA); Manchester, GB (MAN); Shannon, IE (SNN)
  • Rebook travel anytime through October 20
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

As this major hurricane nears landfall in the British Isles, we can expect to see more travel waivers issued. However, as of publishing, the following airlines haven’t yet released waivers: Aer Lingus, British AirwaysDelta, Ryanair

This story has been updated to reflect travel waivers released after publishing.

Featured image of waves battering the Irish town of Lahinch, Co Clare by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images.

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