Batten down hatches, gales are on the way
SNOW showers affected most of the country early this morning as motorists were warned about icy road conditions.
Met Eireann said gale force winds with gusts of up to 130kph were expected throughout the day.
It will remain very windy with widespread showers, some with sleet, hail and thunder.
Temperatures this morning were as low as 1C but rose to 7C throughout the day.
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 Dodder and Tolka, while car parks on the seafronts at Clontarf and Sandymount remained 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 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.
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.