Storm Caroline latest: Heavy rain and strong winds to batter Ireland tonight
- Widespread rain expected in Ireland overnight
- Chance of spot flooding
- Snow and ice warning issued for tomorrow
- Train services cancelled in parts of UK
Met Éireann has issued a fresh weather update this evening, warning of heavy rain and strong winds throughout the night.
The national forecaster has predicted persistent rain in "many areas" over the next few hours, with a chance of spot flooding.
Strong southwest winds will veer northwest as the rain clears, becoming very gusty by morning.
A wind warning was issued for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry and will remain valid until 8pm Thursday.
The latest Atlantic storm to hit the UK and Ireland, which has been dubbed 'Caroline', is due to pass close to the north coast of Scotland on Thursday morning.
Met Éireann say this will generate strong and blustery winds with gusts of between 100km/h and 110km/h over Ireland.
In Scotland, train services have been cancelled after forecasters warned Storm Caroline could cause danger to life.
The Met Office has raised the level of its weather warning from yellow to amber for northern Scotland.
Some train services in western parts of the country have also been suspended.
Meanwhile, after the rain and wind clears, a nationwide snow-ice warning will come into effect for Ireland at 4pm on Thursday and will remain in place until 4pm Friday.
The weather will remain "bitterly cold" for the rest of the week, with further wintry showers and frosty nights.
Temperatures are expected to drop as low as -3 degrees.
The AA has issues a caution to drivers over wet conditions on most roads. Motorists are asked to slow down and increase their breaking conditions.
Road users are being urged to exercise caution during the storm.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has cautioned motorists to expect the unexpected and advised of the following:
- Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.
- Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
- Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
- Check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.
- It takes longer to stop in wet conditions so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front.
- Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility.
- Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning especially on roads with speed limits of 100 km/h and 120 km/hs.
The RSA has also urged cyclists and motorists to wear bright clothing and reflective armbands and belts.