Brutal gales will kick off a turbulent run up to Christmas as Storm Eva arrives with wind speeds upwards of 120km/h.
On Tuesday a ‘Status Orange’ wind warning was issued for Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare.
This will come into effect from 1pm on Wednesday and remain valid until shortly before midnight, warns Met Éireann.
“Storm Eva is expected to track to the west and northwest of Ireland over the course of the day… [and] bring some severe winds to coastal counties.
“These southerly winds will see speeds of between 60-65km/h, and could gust up to 110- 120km/h at times between 4-9pm.”
Motorists are being warned to exercise caution while using the roads in extreme weather conditions.
Storm Eva is born. Orange Alert in place for western counties for second half of Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/4iztwHYIaV— iWeather Online (@iweatheronline) December 22, 2015
Bright this aft with sunny spells & sctd blustery heavy shwrs but cloudier for a time in S & E. Highs 7 to 10 deg in a fresh & gusty SW wind— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) December 22, 2015
The Road Safety Authority has asked road users to beware of objects being blown out onto the road and to watch out for falling or fallen debris.
Drivers are also asked drive with dipped headlights at all times.
High-sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
A ‘Status Yellow’ wind warning has also been issued for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford until Wednesday night.
The national forecaster said that people need to “be aware” in these areas so they can take preventative action.
“Gusts will reach 110km/h in the evening with wind speeds averaging 60-65km/h during the day,” said the weather forecaster.
A third warning, a Status Yellow weather advisory for Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Clare, was also issued.
Each of these warnings will remain in effect until 11:59 pm on Wednesday.
“Storm Eva is all about the wind. It will be wet but the main concern is the wind speed,” Met Éireann continued.
“We wouldn’t see the flooding that came with Desmond but people should still be aware of the affected areas.”
Heading into Christmas, Thursday will be cold with sunny spells punctured by hail, rain and sleet.
During the night, temperatures will drop to as low as 0C though during the day they will hover around a cool 7C.
The wet weather will continue into Christmas Day, which is expected to see showers develop around midday.
These will spread across the country over the course of the day before clearing up on Stephen’s Day.
“Christmas Day will start off cold, bright and sunny in many areas,” Met Éireann said.
“However, wet and windy weather will develop in the southwest by around noon and will spread northeastwards to all areas through the afternoon and evening.
“Stephen's Day will be mild and breezy.
“Patchy rain or drizzle may affect southern and western coastal areas at times.”
Despite the cold and wet, temperatures will reach highs of 10 degrees Celsius Christmas Day and rise to 14 degrees Celsius on St Stephen’s Day.