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Weather warning as storms to return

STORMY conditions are set to return to batter the country tonight with forecasters preparing to issue an amber alert.

Heavy rains caused spot flooding on roads on Sunday night and more heavy rain is forecast throughout the coming week.

Very unsettled weather will usher in the New Year as the country is set for more wet and windy weather with some dry spells.

A Met Eireann forecaster said today's heavy rains in eastern regions will continue to cause some flooding on roads.



Motorists contended with flood conditions on the N4 Lucan Road in Dublin this morning.

Meanwhile, weather forecaster Vincent O'Shea says tonight's conditions "won't be as bad as it has been but we're not out of the woods yet".

Gale force winds are likely to spread in from the Atlantic although not as severe as those of recent days and temperatures will drop to between one and four degrees with some sleet or snow on higher ground.

New Year's Eve too looks like being a blustery affair.

Tomorrow will be a cool day with with dry weather for many parts of the country but rain or showers will affect western and southern coasts, extending further inland during the afternoon.

The New Year begins with early sunshine, particularly in the north and east but this will be quickly followed by more wet and windy weather with winds severe in some places.

The forecast is for the rest of the week to stay very unsettled with rain and strong winds developing into gales at times.

As the big clean-up gets underway, insurance companies are also preparing to deal with a deluge of storm damage claims.

One estimate puts the cost at €150m but the Irish Insurance Federation says it is to early to make a full calculation although the amounts will be "significant".