Met Éireann has issued a Status Yellow wind warning for seven counties along southern and western coasts for later this week.

Issued yesterday afternoon (Monday, March 8), the alert will be valid from 12:00pm tomorrow through to 6:00am on Thursday (March 11).

The warning will affect counties: Galway; Clare; Limerick; Kerry; Cork; Waterford; and Wexford.

In these counties, Met Éireann warns that from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night, southwest to west winds will reach mean wind speeds of 50 to 65kph, with gusts ranging 80 to 110kph.

These will be higher in exposed locations.

Turning to the country in general today, Met Éireann says that it will be cloudy this morning with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle in western areas, with many areas elsewhere dry.

Rain will turn persistent as it spreads eastwards later this morning, extending to all areas during the afternoon as winds strengthen.

Rain will be locally heavy at times in western areas. Southerly winds will increase strong during the afternoon, reaching near gale force near coasts. Highest temperatures of 8° to 11° are expected.

Conditions will continue wet and windy for the early parts of tonight, the national meteorological office says.

Rain will clear eastwards overnight with a few showers following and limited clear spells. Strong southerly winds will ease light to moderate and veer westerly in the clearance of the rain.

Lowest temperatures of 2° to 5° are forecast, coldest in the north and northwest later in the night.