Wet and wild start to year will bring strong gusts and heavy rain
Batten down the hatches as the first week of 2018 will get off to a blustery start.
The first day of the new year today will be cold and bright but windy, according to Met Éireann forecaster Liz Gavin.
While there will be some sunny spells suitable for an early New Year's Day stroll, there will also be scattered showers with hail in parts and the possibility of thunder and periods of rain in the north.
Cold north-westerly winds will pick up by this afternoon becoming increasingly gusty, with gales expected in northern and north-western counties. While it will be a bit warmer than recent days, with daytime highs of 6C to 9C, temperatures will plunge tonight with widespread frost developing early as temperatures hover around zero.
Frost is expected to clear in time for the return to work tomorrow morning as rain moves in overnight.
But the rest of the week will be a mixed bag of cold, wind and rain, she said.
"Unsettled is the main theme of the week," she told the Irish Independent.
"It will remain very unsettled with spells of heavy rain and strong winds everywhere."
Tomorrow will start off rainy and blustery with strong and gusty south-west winds.
Temperatures will creep upwards to a high of 10C as showers clear by early this evening. It will remain windy tomorrow night and get even more windy on Wednesday with strong to gale-force winds forecast along with spells of heavy rain and hail showers.
There could even be snow on higher ground, although daytime temperatures will stay around 5C to 8C before rain becomes widespread overnight.
The rainy picture will continue on Thursday, with heavy rain expected in the morning before turning to showers by afternoon. Western counties could see stormy conditions on Thursday and into Friday morning when it turns much colder. Wintry showers are also expected on Friday.