MONSTER rains could bring floods to parts of Dublin by midweek, forecasters have warned.
Homeowners are being warned to batten down the hatches in advance of heavy downpours that will drench the east and south.
The heavy rains are expected to hit Dublin, the rest of Leinster and Munster on Wednesday. A Met Eireann forecaster told the Herald today the worst of the rain in a "very unsettled" week would probably happen on Wednesday afternoon and continue into Thursday.
"It's looking very ominous for Wednesday with wet and cold and wind with a risk of localised flooding," she said.
The east and south and parts of east Ulster will get the worst of the downpours while Connacht and the rest of Ulster will escape most of the heavy rain. Overall, the week will be very cool and showery with some heavy rain and localised downpours. It will be a very wet period with as much as 20 to 30mm of rain hitting Dublin on Wednesday, sparking fears of some flooding. Strong winds will also mean gales at sea.
Rainfall will be well above normal around the capital although it may not be as bad as forecasters were fearing yesterday, she said. Today's showers are expected to die away later this evening and it will become mostly dry, clear and cold tonight, but some showers may continue in parts of the southwest and along the west coast.
Temperatures could fall to as low as zero in some parts tonight.
It will be cool and bright tomorrow with sunny spells and scattered showers, which will become widespread by afternoon. There may also be some heavy rain or hail and thunder. Despite the heavy rains forecast for midweek, there will be some sunny spells and showers most other days.
By next weekend, it should be generally cool and bright with sunny spells and showers, some of which will be heavy.
There is a risk of strengthening northeast winds bringing more persistent rain to southern and southeastern areas for a time on Saturday.