Orange wind warning: Gales, rain and snow on the way
Yellow wind warning for 14 counties
Batten down the hatches as forecasters have issued a weather warning for the weekend with gale-force winds, rain and snow all on the way.
A Status Orange weather warning will kick in at 2pm for counties in the north and west of the country.
Gusts of up to 130kmh are expected to sweep across parts of Connacht and Ulster from early this afternoon and they are likely to continue until tomorrow morning.
Forecasters have also issued a Status Yellow wind warning for parts of Leinster and Munster, as gale-force winds are expected to batter the coast along the south and east. Gusts of up to 110kmh will blow across exposed areas in counties Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Westmeath, Meath, Roscommon, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.
And forecaster Pat Clarke has also warned that wet conditions will develop today.
While the "extremely windy and blustery conditions" may ease off over the weekend, things aren't likely to get any better as Met Éireann have said that we may experience showers of snow, hail and sleet tomorrow night.
"It will be windy and cold on Sunday and Monday," Mr Clarke said.
"The showers will come particularly late in the day over the north and west overnight on Sunday and into Monday. There will be falls of hail and sleet and there is likely to be some snow showers too, with the north and west at risk of those."
The forecaster said these "changeable conditions" were likely to last into early week, when wintry showers would continue. "Some of them will be sleet, they won't all be of snow. But it is going to be quite cold for this time of the year," Mr Clarke added.
Temperatures will reach highs of 11C today, but could fall to -3C on Monday night.
Tomorrow, wintry showers are expected to hit as temperatures are expected to drop as low as -2 degrees.
Rain, hail, and thundery showers are expected but they’ll become increasingly wintry with snow accumulations on Sunday night.
On Monday, temperatures are expected to drop as low as -3 degrees. Accumulations of snow as well as frost and icy patches will continue into Monday night.
More sleet and snow showers will continue on Tuesday night and Wednesday.
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The wintry showers are expected to gradually die out later on Wednesday night but it will be cold and dry with a widespread frost.
Forecaster Pat Clarke said: “It’s going to get very cold, some hail, sleet and some snow.”
“Probably in the west to north, there'll be a light covering [of snow] but it’s difficult to see [on the charts] so we’ll be monitoring it.”
“Early next week it will be cold and there’ll be some snow showers. There’s some indication that it’ll become more settled in mid week with high pressure coming through. If that’s true, it will tend to dry out. It would mean very cold, frosty nights though.”
In the meantime, this weekend will see a mix of patchy rain and even gale force winds. Met Eireann is closely monitoring Ireland's forecast and may issue wind warnings for tomorrow.
“It’s very, very mixed. We’re going to have a lot of mixed weather, wintry weather.”
“It’ll be summery coming in from Atlantic today. But tomorrow it'll be extremely gusty, wintry conditions.”
It will become very windy tomorrow evening, with "very strong westerly" gusts.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising drivers to take extreme care when using the roads as they are expecting wind speeds to reach upwards of 80km/h, with the occasional gusts in excess of 130km/h.
“In particular watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road,” said an RSA spokesperson.
“High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.”
Road users are being asked to watch out and make extra space for cyclists and those on motor bikes.
While those traveling at night should keep their headlights dipped and wear bright reflective clothing if they are on foot.