Weather warning: Strong winds and scattered showers forecast

The weekend is set to get off to a very windy start as weather warnings for high winds remain in place for the entire country today, Friday, according to Met Eireann.

A status orange weather warning for high winds will come into effect at 6am this morning for coastal regions and areas of high ground in counties Donegal, Galway and Mayo.

Generally, gusts will vary in strength from 65-75km/h, but severe gusts could reach a maximum of 120km/h, with southerly winds later becoming west to southwest.

The rest of the country has been issued with a status yellow weather warning which will also come into effect at 6am this morning.

Wind strengths will generally be 20km/h less than areas worse affected by the status orange weather warning, as both weather warnings are valid up until 6pm this evening.

This morning heavy rain will extend throughout the country, but it is expected to become brighter and more showery conditions will follow from the northwest later in the day.

Tonight showers are set to gradually retreat to north and west, while winds are expected to remain quite strong as temperatures reach between 3 to 6 degrees.

With the expected rain, conditions for both drying and spraying are set to be poor over the coming days.

Well and moderately drained soils are trafficable at present, but the ground in poorly drained soils will remain saturated or waterlogged for the coming days, according to Met Eireann.

Christmas Eve

Tomorrow, Saturday, is Christmas Eve and it is forecast to be mild, breezy and mostly cloudy.

Some scattered showers will be seen during the morning, while rain spreading from the Atlantic during the afternoon is set to be heaviest and most persistent across Connacht and Ulster.

Afternoon temperatures are expected to reach highs of 7 to 11 degrees in moderate to fresh southwest winds.

Meanwhile, Christmas Eve night will be rather mild and blustery with rain at times.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is forecast to be rather cloudy with patchy rain around Atlantic coastal counties during daylight hours, but it is set to be drier and perhaps a little brighter, at least for a time, in the east and southeast.

However, rain is forecast to become widespread and heavier during the evening and early night.

Highest temperatures of 12 or 13 degrees in fresh to strong and gusty southwesterly winds are expected.

St Stephen’s Day

It will be colder, but brighter with scattered showers in the west and north on Stephen’s Day, Met Eireann has said.

Temperatures will vary between 7 to 9 degrees in moderate westerly breezes, while early indications for next week suggest it will remain cold but mainly dry with frost at night.