STORMS are expected to pound the south and west coasts from early evening as the unsettled weather of recent weeks shows no signs of abating.
Met Eireann expects gusts of up to 120kph on exposed coastlines with up to 15mm of rain, but said the entire country could expect wet and windy conditions.
And forecaster Joan Blackburn said while there may be some respite on Saturday, more rain and strong winds would return on Sunday.
Flooding is a distinct possibility in the west and south due to a combination of high tides and low pressure.
"The best part of Thursday will be the morning, with some frost but not widespread," she said. "But by lunchtime the clouds will be gathering with strengthening winds.
There could be 10-15mm of rain and another storm front coming in from the north west overnight, with stormy conditions in the south and west and high seas pounding the coast. "It will be very windy everywhere (overnight and into Friday) but the south, west and northwest coast will be the worst affected.
"The east will probably be mostly dry during the day, winds aren't too strong until the evening and it could be reasonable for January. The rain and wind will become countrywide from tomorrow night.
"Winds will be southerly veering south west, and storm force at sea with gusts up to 120kph in exposed parts of the west."
She said the main feature of the weather would be very high tides with low pressure, meaning a significant risk of flooding from around 6pm this evening.
"That's going to be around for a while into Friday, particularly in the west and north west," Ms Blackburn continued, adding: "The winds will gradually abate, but there will be plenty of showers."
The weekend won't be much better, she said, with showers expected in most areas. "It will be frosty on Friday night and cold on Saturday with quite a number of showers, some wintery on higher ground.