Warning of heavy rain as forecasters track 260kph hurricane across Atlantic
One of the most powerful hurricanes ever monitored so far north so early in the hurricane season could hit Ireland with heavy rainfall from Thursday.
Met Eireann has confirmed that it is carefully monitoring the progress of Hurricane Lorenzo.
However, forecasters said the hurricane - which was briefly a category five storm, the most powerful possible, before dropping to a category four - will likely further weaken to a cyclone depending on its track as it approaches Europe.
If Lorenzo or its remnants do hit Ireland, it is likely that the most the country will experience are very blustery conditions and the potential for heavy rainfall.
"There is potential for unsettled weather to develop during this period," a Met Eireann forecaster said.
"However, uncertainties in the detail remain due to the track of Lorenzo for this time frame. It is likely to become milder due to the influence of tropical origin air.
"Met Eireann is closely monitoring the progress of Lorenzo in the south Atlantic."
The hurricane is currently near the Azores - but there is major doubt over where it will track over the next 72 hours.
The storm, if it weakens but heads in the direction of Ireland, will have a significant impact on weather conditions later this week.
Lorenzo currently boasts wind speeds of more than 260kph.
If, as expected, it weakens to a cyclone, its maximum wind gusts will be around 120kph with sustained wind speeds below 100kph.
Lorenzo, if it does veer toward Ireland, will arrive off the Connacht coast late on Thursday night and into the early hours of Friday.
Met Eireann stressed that unsettled conditions will continue today and tomorrow - with today likely to experience heavy rain showers, and the potential for spot-flooding in areas, as a rain front sweeps in from the Atlantic.
Cork city experienced localised flooding over the weekend along low-lying city quays due to the combination of heavy rainfall and some high autumn tides.
Munster and south Leinster will again see the heaviest of the showers today and tomorrow until dry conditions emerge nationwide in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Weather conditions on Thursday and Friday will be determined by the potential track of Hurricane Lorenzo.