Ireland can expect widespread rain and gales to hit ahead of the tail-end of Storm Diana this coming weekend.
There are currently two weather warnings in place nationwide. A status yellow rainfall warning is in place for Munster, Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Galway and Mayo until 2pm today, with up to 30mm of rain expected to fall in some areas.
There is also a yellow wind warning in place until 3pm today for the eight counties listed, as well as in Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, with strong gusts along the coast.
In Dublin, the Dublin Port has been forced to close to shipping as a result of strong winds.
Gardaí are reporting that this has had a "knock-on effect" on traffic in the area and as a result traffic is being restricted entering the South Bore of Dublin Port Tunnel.
"Traffic is heavy entering and exiting the tunnel. It's busiest along the Grand Canal eastbound from Harold's Cross to Ranelagh Road. If possible traffic should use alternate routes," they said in a statement this morning.
AA Roadwatch are encouraging motorists travelling to the airport to allow themselves plenty of travel time, with delays of up to 40 minutes reported on the M1 towards the Port Tunnel.
#DUBLIN Still very heavy on the M1 heading towards the Port Tunnel - with delays of over 40 minutes reported. Bear in mind if heading to the airport. More here: https://t.co/PSzIBsvOzE
According to Met Éireann, Ireland will see "reoccurring spells" of rain and wind this week, but the tail-end of neighbouring Storm Diana in the UK not anticipated to affect Ireland until towards the weekend.
"The parent Storm Diana will move up across the north Atlantic and won’t track over Ireland at all this week, that will be at the weekend," Met Éireann forecaster Vincent O’Shea told Independent.ie.
"We are however seeing that rain is widespread across the country this morning alongside the strong gales associated with it.
"It’s affecting virtually all of the country but there will be a slight improvement to some brighter weather later today."
The national forecaster said that southeast gales will ease later in the afternoon, but the wet and windy weather is expected to return tonight and continue into tomorrow.
"It will have been the strongest and wettest this morning but there will be more rain and strong winds later tonight, and we’ll see this in reoccurring spells right up until the weekend," Mr O’Shea said.
Very wet and very blustery in most places this morning, with heavy downpours of rain, gales and severe gusts. Some spot flooding locally also. But brighter less windy weather with showers, already in the southwest will extend up across the country gradually. Top temps 8 to 12C. pic.twitter.com/YbU20UhNZI
Rain is expected to be heavy tomorrow, particularly in the north and west of the country, but it will be mild with highest temperatures reaching between 13 and 15 degrees.
Thursday will be cool and blustery with a mix of bright spells and some showers, but there will be a chance of hail in some counties.
Friday will be a brighter day with some chance of showers still, with the weekend weather looking to be “changeable” and more strong rain and wind leading into Saturday and Sunday.
In the UK, Storm Diana is expected to bring some travel disruption on road, rail, ferry and air transport from noon on Wednesday, according to the Met Office.
Meanwhile, a permanent scheme to help compensate businesses hit by flooding with up to €20,000 is to be approved by Cabinet today.
Up to now the Government has established ad-hoc schemes during storm periods – but a flood relief scheme being placed on a standard footing.
Defence Minister Paul Kehoe and Business Minister Heather Humphreys will bring forward proposals today.
The scheme will be demand-led and aimed at business and organisations who experience flood damage as a consequence of a severe weather event to their premises and who have been refused flood insurance.
Successful applicants will be in line for a ‘quick’ payment up to €5,000. They can then seek a further payment of up to €15,000 after a more detailed assessment of the loss incurred.
In the past, the Department of Defence operated ad hoc humanitarian support schemes in conjunction with the Irish Red Cross following incidents of flooding.
More than €4m was been paid out as part of schemes have set up during Storm Desmond, Storm Eleanor and after flooding incidents in Donegal and Laois.
The ministers believe the new system will give clarity to businesses who cannot obtain insurance for the damage caused by flooding.
The Irish Red Cross will continue to administer applications for assistance.