Batten down hatches, gales are on the way
Motorists have been warned to be extra-vigilant on the roads today as the nation braces itself for a battering by winds of up to 130kph.
Weather experts say the Atlantic coast, where flood warnings will be in effect due to high tides, will bear the brunt of the bad weather.
Dublin City Council yesterday activated flood defences in some parts of the capital due to expected high tides at 2pm.
Defences were placed along the rivers Dodder and Tolka, while car parks on the seafronts at Clontarf and Sandymount will remain closed today.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council said the Flood Advisory Group implemented the defences as a "precautionary measure".
He said the group would continue to assess the need for defences as the unsettled conditions continue.
An orange level wind warning is to remain in place in the west and northwest until tomorrow, when storm and severe storm force winds will range between 110 and 130kph.
A yellow wind warning will be in effect in the rest of the country, with Dublin, Leinster and parts of Munster most affected.
Blasts of between 90 and 110kph are also expected to last until tomorrow evening.
Met Eireann forecaster Pat Clarke said we can expect very "unsettled and windy" outlook for the next few days, with temperatures ranging between 0 and 8C.
"We are going to see some varied weather behaviour from strong blustery winds to sleet, hail and thunderstorms until next weekend at least," he said.
Mr Clarke said today will be a cold, largely clear day in the capital, with strong westerly winds.
However, he added that we can expect some thundery downpours at times and "can't rule out the possibility of hail or sleet".
Areas on higher ground may see a light sprinkling of snow. Temperatures are expected to vary between 4 and 8C.
A snow and ice warning remained in place in Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo overnight, and up to 3cm of snow was expected.