Storm Abigail: Gusts of '120km/h and rising' hit west coast
* Yellow wind warning
* Gusts of 120km/h on west coast
* Minor disruptions at Dublin Airport
* Gardai issue warning to road users
* Charities plead with people to care for elderly
* 'Be prepared' - says Met Eireann
Gusts of '120km/h and rising' are already battering the west coast of the country as Storm Abigail makes her approach to Ireland.
A status yellow wind warning is in full effect for some areas as storm-force winds and wintry showers hit nationwide.
The wind warning is in place for Munster, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Roscommon, until 6am tomorrow.
Gusts of 120km/h have already being recorded on the west coast, according to the Achill Coast Guard.
Gardai have advised people "not go near waterways or coastal areas during storm".
Dublin Airport experienced minor disruptions to their flight schedule due to strong winds and advised travellers to check the latest flight information with their airline.
GALWAY: A fallen tree on the N84 Headford Rd at Curraghline has now been cleared. https://t.co/xIOpAblVS1— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) November 12, 2015
KILDARE: There is a fallen tree blocking the Naas/ Ballymore Eustace Rd (R411) near Punchestown Cross. https://t.co/xIOpAblVS1— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) November 12, 2015
Abigail is coming and she’s got wind. Heavy rain & winds expected, Road users slow down & light up, pedestrians & cyclists be safe & be seen— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) November 12, 2015
Winds at 1300 local time today Thursday. pic.twitter.com/rDxoVH8YeT— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) November 12, 2015
Some minor disruption to flight schedule @DublinAirport due to strong winds, please check latest flight info with your airline.— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) November 12, 2015
*** Storm Abigail Update *** Gusts have EXCEEDED 120 kmh - winds still increasing. Although it is an ORANGE... https://t.co/QfbpWmQsL3— Achill Coast Guard (@AchillCGUnit) November 12, 2015
Squally shwrs of rain/hail affecting all parts this eve&tonight, some thundery in W. Strong/gale force,SW winds decrease over land tonight.— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) November 12, 2015
Tonight, temperatures will hit as low as two degrees tonight.
North and north-western counties will bear the brunt of the storm, with weather warnings to remain in place over the coming days.
A spokeperson for Met Eireann told independent.ie tonight that today's orange warning has been downgraded to an yellow wind warning.
“Winds have passed over the last few hours, basically it’ll be an abating situation over the night but winds will pick up again tomorrow. There will be strong and blustry, westerly winds but not as strong as tonight.”
He added: “It’ll stay blustry but it won’t be particularly threatening.”
“The storm has passed over Northern Ireland and into Scotland. The storm is over essentially.”
Met Eireann forecaster Gerry Murphy told RTE's Morning Ireland: "This storm will affect coastal Ireland, the inland will be windy but not stormy winds.
"The yellow [warning] means 'be aware', the orange means 'be prepared' and the red is 'take action'.
"Make sure anything you're doing today, be prepared. Especially those who live on the coast, they will have high winds.
"Make sure your actions are safe and make sure your children and your elderly neighbours are kept safe.
"It's a question of pure common sense."
Irish charity ALONE expressed concern for older people who may be in need following the weather warning for the next two days.
The charity has asked members of the public to check on their older neighbours and help them if they need to travel during the bad weather.
“Following a status orange weather warning from Met Éireann we are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs," CEO of ALONE Sean Moynihan said.
"We’re advising older people to be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible.”
Gardai advised road users to "slow down and light up".
"Abigail is coming and she’s got wind," they wrote online.
"Heavy rain & winds expected, Road users slow down & light up, pedestrians & cyclists be safe & be seen [sic]."
Gusts of up to 120kmh will peak in coastal counties along the north-west this afternoon, and they will continue into the evening and tomorrow night.
Tomorrow will also be very blustery, with "unstable air" and temperatures will range between 6C and 10C.
The situation is unlikely to improve over the weekend, although it will be warmer as the winds swing to the south-west.
Saturday is expected to be wet and breezy, while scattered rain will affect many parts on Sunday.