Weather warnings 'under constant review' as gales and heavy rain come storming in
A series of weather warnings were issued as "severe" conditions will batter the country on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Heavy rain and strong winds of up to 110kmh are forecast, with drivers being warned of potentially dangerous road conditions.
Met Éireann issued two yellow warnings for wind and rainfall covering the entire country for the whole day - with an orange marine warning for gales.
South-easterly winds will increase to gale-force eight or strong-gale nine in coastal waters from Rossan Point to Howth Head and Hook Head and on the Irish Sea, extending to all coastal waters this morning.
The east and south are set to get the worst of the wind and downpours, but no part of the country is expected to escape unscathed.
Up to 50mm of rain will fall throughout the day - combined with high winds, the driving rain will affect roads.
Temperatures will be between 6C and 11C today and tomorrow will be mostly dry with just a few showers in coastal areas.
Britain will endure even more severe weather this weekend, with blizzards, heavy snow and freezing rain.
Forecaster Harm Luijkx said those venturing out to do Christmas shopping needed to keep abreast of any potential upgrade in the two yellow warnings.
Mr Luijkx said the weather warnings were "under constant review".
"At the moment we have yellow weather warnings in place but that could change and if there's new information, that could be more severe (to an orange warning)," he said.
"Heavy rain will move across the country. The winds will be strongest across the east and south and later in the afternoon, the strongest winds will be in the east.
"In the morning the wind will be south-easterly, but in late in the afternoon it will swing to the west and north west and there could be gusts of 90 to 110kmh."
Tens of thousands of motorists are expected to take to the roads today, but visibility will be poor and drivers are being warned to watch out for hazards.
Thousands of rugby fans will pour into the capital to watch the Heineken Cup clash between Leinster and Bath at the Aviva Stadium.
AA Ireland has asked drivers to avoid the area of the stadium due to concerns of major traffic delays.
Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs at AA Ireland, said: "This will be a countrywide weather phenomenon - miserable conditions on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. We expect a large volume of pedestrian activity and drivers have to be careful."
The Wild Lights event at Dublin Zoo has been cancelled today due to "dangerous wind gust speeds".
Management at the zoo had health and safety concerns for visitors and staff "who are our priority at all times". Ticket holders will be refunded within five working days.