Back to work with bang as 130kph storm blows in ... and the mild spell ends
WARNING: Gales, snow on way
WORKERS returning from their Christmas break will have to battle with storm-like conditions tomorrow.
Gale-force winds of up to 130kph will lash the country tonight as the new year gets off to an unsettled start.
While Christmas was unseasonably mild, the next few days will bring spells of sleet, snow, rain and violent gusts.
Met Eireann, which has issued a weather warning, says persistent rain will spread from the Atlantic tonight, turning heavy for a time.
It also will become extremely stormy, with very strong southerly winds.
The winds will increase to gale force as the night progresses, with gusts of 100 to 130kph especially in western and northwestern coastal areas.
Forecasters say tomorrow will be cold and very windy, though we will see some sunny spells as well.
Temperatures will also stay stubbornly low, with highs of 2 to 4C at night.
During the day, levels won't rise above 8C.
The week will remain "changeable and unsettled". However, there are signs that there will be an improvement on Friday.
AA Roadwatch urged motorists today to be wary of black ice and frosty conditions following low temperatures overnight.
Reports of icy conditions came in from across the country after temperatures plunged.
AA Roadwatch reported icy conditions on the M1 around the junction for Balbriggan and snowy conditions around Navan, Co Meath.
The fierce storms will also hit Britain where the Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across nearly every region.
Forecasters also predicted localised flooding in parts of Wales and northwest England and a marked drop in temperature.
The source of the bad weather is a deep area of low pressure coming in from the west, bringing strengthening winds and heavy rain.
According to Met Eireann there will be some respite in the weather towards next weekend.
"Tuesday night will be cold and breezy, with a mixture of clear spells and scattered showers, most of the showers in the southwest, west and northwest, with one or two wintry ones possible over high ground," forecasters say.
"Wednesday will become milder, with cloud and rain spreading from the Atlantic, mainly over the northern half of the country during the morning and early afternoon, but becoming heavier and more widespread later."
By Thursday it will be "quite cold, but mostly dry, with sunny spells and just a few scattered showers". And eventually on Friday it will turn milder.